National Institute on Aging

A College Education Continues to Pay Economic Dividends to Black Graduates

A new report from The College Board shows that a college education continues to provide widespread economic benefits to those who obtain the credential. This is particularly true for African Americans.

In 1998, 17 percent of Black women and 13 percent of Black men ages 25 to 29 held a four-year college degree. Two decades later in 2018, 25 percent of Blck women and 20 percent of Black men in this age group held a four-year college degree. This is significant progress, particularly when we note that in 2018, the median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients age 25 working full time were nearly $25,000 higher than those of high school graduates.

Jessica Howell, vice president of research at College Board, notes that “higher education is a powerful driver of social mobility for lower-income students, and it’s critical that these students have every opportunity to attend and thrive in college.”

The report also shows that of all racial and ethnic groups, college graduates are more likely to be healthy, have jobs, vote, escape poverty, and volunteer in their communities compared to their peers with only a high school diploma.

The full report, Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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