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Higher Education


Exploring the Relationship between Debt, Achievement, and Equity in Higher Education in the Latino Community

Funder: Lumina Foundation

The UNC School of Law is partnering with the UNC Center for Community Capital to examine how attitudes about student loan debt affect post-secondary persistence for Hispanic students. This is a two-phase project beginning with a large electronic survey of Latinos to better understand how and if student loans are impacting completion of post-secondary education for this population.


Food and Financial Wellbeing of College Students

Funder: UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) & NC TraCS Institute

Many college students experience financial hardship, and those facing food and financial insecurity are less likely to complete their degree. Some interventions have been established, but little is known about their effectiveness, or of the barriers that remain. UNC HPDP and CCC are conducting formative research to better understand this complex issue. The purpose of this project is to better understand the basic needs insecurities undergraduate students face; barriers to accessing available emergency services (such as emergency loans and grants and the campus food pantry); and messaging or other strategies that may result in greater uptake of available services.


Analysis of Student Loan Data and Identification of Institutional Best Practices in North Carolina

Funder: Annie E. Casey Foundation

CCC is working with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) on the first stage of a project to understand the causes of student loan delinquency and default among undergraduate students well as the role that North Carolina educational institutions and state-level policies might play in mitigating both. CCC will analyze publicly available data on student loan delinquency and default and identify best practices and innovative solutions being implemented by North Carolina’s two- and four-year educational institutions aimed at reducing the likelihood of student loan delinquency and default.


The Voices of Student Borrowers

Funder: MetLife Foundation

The CCC examined how students from a variety of backgrounds make decisions about how to finance their education, how they negotiate the landscape of student loan debt, and how student loans impact their families’ broader financial health. Additionally, our research added an institutional perspective on the challenges that colleges face in assisting students and the opportunities for best practices and innovation.




Community Advantage Program Study

Funder: Ford Foundation

This long-term study sheds light on the factors that lead to successful homeownership and its economic and social impact on communities. Through the Community Advantage Panel Survey, researchers follow nearly 50,000 low-income homeowners who obtained mortgages through the path-breaking program and a companion panel of renters. Learn more here.


Manufactured Housing

Funder: Freddie Mac

The UNC Center for Community Capital partnered with Freddie Mac to conduct research designed to understand the market experiences, behavior, and financing decisions made by recent buyers of manufactured housing. The findings from this research are intended to enable Freddie Mac to more effectively fulfill its statutory underserved markets obligations to provide greater liquidity to the manufactured housing market, and to support the development of Freddie Mac’s manufactured housing business strategy.


Latino Households and the State of Affordable Housing

Funder: UnidosUS

Data from the years immediately following the housing and foreclosure crisis show a devastating impact on the financial wellbeing of many households. Latino and Hispanic households, like many other households of color, were hit particularly hard and have been slower to return to homeownership and rebuild the wealth lost as a result of the crisis. Now, ten years later, what are the lingering impacts for Latino families and what new and ongoing challenges are facing this community with regard to affordable housing? In partnership with UnidosUS, the CCC conducted key informant interviews with UnidosUS Affiliates and with Latino households in order to provide a better understanding of the current affordable housing landscape.


Housing and Opportunity Assessment

Funder: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In partnership with several high-impact community organizations in New Orleans and San Francisco, the CCC explored the role of housing in linking low- and moderate-income families’ to the amenities, services, and institutions that can improve and enhance their quality of life. For this eighteen-month long investigation, we developed a mixed-methods Opportunity Assessment that took a twofold approach: first, the creation of a data-driven index of place-based opportunity; and second, the use of community-level research to identify the gap between perceived opportunity and actual, realized opportunity. In the full report, we offer findings and recommendations for each site. 


Financial Capabilities and Housing Project

Funder: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Many housing providers are expanding beyond their traditional roles and integrating financial capability services into their programming. In order to inform the financial capability field and enhance future program development, CCC sought to analyze outcomes and share insights from three housing providers: The Resurrection Project in Chicago, the Cleveland Housing Network, and the NYC Housing Authority in partnership with the Office of Financial Empowerment and Urban Upbound. Each case study contributes new and important information to practitioners engaged in financial service integration. The full report can be accessed here.



Other Topics


Online Platforms and Tools to Support Financial Coaching and Counseling

Funder: MetLife Foundation

Through a comparison study of several online financial coaching platforms, the CCC worked to identify gaps and redundancies in the current array of financial coaching tools and resources available for both practitioners and clients, providing new and actionable insights related to current coaching services and ongoing development and funding of new coaching programs.


Report on Credit Scores Use in Employment Screenings

Funder: Kellogg Foundation

To investigate the use of credit checks in employment hiring decisions, and in particular the potential effect on lower-income job applicants, CCC partnered with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to undertake research into these matters.  Through interviews with key informants, employers, and state legislators, analysis of consumer complaint data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a national scan of organizations that provide financial education, counseling, and loan products, the research determined that credit checks at hiring likely have a disparate impact on lower-income job applicants. The full paper can be accessed here.