How a College Degree Breaks the Back of Racial Discrimination

New figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau unequivocally show that possession of a four-year college degree not only greatly increases the incomes of African Americans but goes almost all the way in closing the economic gap between blacks and whites.

African Americans with a two-year associate’s degree improve their income by only 41 percent over blacks with just a high school diploma. But blacks with a four-year college degree outperform blacks with a high school diploma by 93.4 percent.

But the important issue is the impact of a college education on the black-white income gap. The overall median black family income in the United States is 61 percent of the median white family income. This very large gap in the income ratio has remained virtually unchanged for more than 30 years.

But look what happens when we put aside the overall black-white income gap and confine our view only to college-educated blacks and whites. In 2004 blacks with a bachelor’s degree had a median income of $36,086. This is 90 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic whites with a bachelor’s degree, which stood at $39,987.