Report Finds HBCUs Do a Great Job in Aiding the Upward Economic Mobility of Their Graduates

A new report from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey finds that historically Black colleges and universities are doing an admirable job fostering the upward mobility of their students, especially considering the large share of their students that come from lower-income backgrounds. Furthermore, the study found that HBCUs are furthering upward mobility of their student population, which is drawn from the lower economic rungs, than the general college-going population at predominately White institutions.

A key finding of the report is that despite the fact that many students at HBCUs come from low-income families, nearly 70 percent of students at HBCUs attain at least middle-class incomes after graduation. Two-thirds of low-income students at HBCUs end up in at least the middle class.

The report also identified HBCUs that are doing a particularly good job of having their graduates move up the ladder of economic success. For instance, 16.7 percent of the student body at Xavier University of Louisiana is low-income and almost one-third of these students move into the top fifth of income earners. Tuskegee University, Bennett College, Florida A&M University, Dillard University, and Clark Atlanta University also do a particularly good job fostering upward mobility for their large share of low-income students.

Xavier University also is the top-ranked HBCU for fostering mobility into at least the middle-class. Approximately 80 percent of their students attain middle-class status. Other HBCUs, such as Prairie View A&M University, Elizabeth City State University, and Tennessee State University also create middle-class opportunities for more than 70 percent of their students, according to the report.

The full report, Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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