Redlining is a term coined by community activists in 1960s Chicago. It refers to mortgage brokers excluding predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods from getting loans for housing, and by extension, to any discrimination achieved by drawing arbitrary lines.
Last week, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sparked a mini-furor when he accused the student-loan industry -- while testifying at a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on private loans -- of engaging in redlining. If students historically underrepresented in higher education are being offered more expensive loans, this clearly strikes directly at the heart of college access. Ironically, statements made by Sallie Mae's own lobbyists just a few weeks ago may add fuel to the fire.