To: University of Maryland Baltimore Board of Regents

Social Work Student Loan Debt

An open letter to:

The University of Maryland Baltimore
Board of Regents

And, Students, Faculty, and Alumni of the School of Social Work

High student loan debt and low salaries are a reality for social workers. The average UMB MSW student loan debt upon graduation is $66,000 (not including money borrowed for undergraduate education). Meanwhile, the average income for a social worker is $43,000.

This staggering educational debt affects our life decisions and can influence or delay home purchasing, retirement planning, and personal savings. We encourage you to take proactive measures to prevent social workers from accumulating unmanageable debt.

We call on the University to:
• Support and advocate for legislation that will provide funding for training, tuition assistance, and loan forgiveness for social workers.
• Engage in open, sincere dialogue with students and take every measure possible to maintain affordable, high-quality education, and a diverse student body.

This problem is especially relevant as the Maryland General Assembly just ended its session by passing a budget requiring $512 million in cuts— dubbed the ‘Doomsday Budget.’ It was reported that the budget would cut $60 million from higher education, likely necessitating higher tuition increases at state universities and local community colleges.

Thank you for helping us address this growing problem.

Why is this important?

Social workers incur large debt relative to their prospective salaries. We're calling on the University of Maryland Baltimore's Board of Regents to take an active role in advocating for training, legislation, and loan forgiveness.

** There is an error in the petition body-- the accurate amount of UMB SSW Student Debt upon graduation is $62,000. Please make note of this before signing.


Reasons for signing

  • Social workers are overworked and underpaid. Social work is a profession that should be respected and well compensated for their valuable services.
  • My contact number: 559-307-6310.
  • High student loan debt keeps social workers from remaining in public sector and looking for employment in private arenas.