Laura Hamilton, Professor, UC Merced
Laura Hamilton is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. Broadly, her interests include higher education, organizations, social class, gender, intersectionality, family, and mixed research methods. Hamilton earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University in 2003 and 2010, respectively, and her B.A. in sociology from DePauw University in 2001. She is co-founder of the DataHub and the Higher Education Race & the Economy (HERE) Lab with Prof. Charlie Eaton.
Alongside Prof. Charlie Eaton, Prof. Adam Goldstein, and Prof. Frederick Wherry, Prof. Hamilton is engaging in several distinct projects using SLLI’s proprietary historical FFELP loan data, including examining the role of for-profit school ownership structures in borrower outcomes and studying the effectiveness of state solutions to predatory for-profit institutions, such as state grant eligibility, consumer disclosures, recruitment incentive bans, and enforcement actions. Moreover, these professors are using SLLI’s datasets to explore the role of the secondary student loan refinance market in exacerbating racial and social class inequalities. As for-profit institutions continue to saddle borrowers with tens of thousands of dollars in loans that they will struggle to repay, this research will reveal the most effective policy interventions that state and federal policymakers and regulators can use to increase oversight and accountability of these companies.