The White House Releases Report on “The Economics of HBCUs”

The White House has released a new report, “The Economics of HBCUs,” which highlights the importance of historically Black colleges and universities in the higher education and economic mobility of Black Americans.

The report found that although HBCUs account for less than 3 percent of all higher education institutions in the United States, they have 8 percent of all Black undergraduate student enrollments and produce 13 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by Black students. In recent years, HBCUs have experienced a spike in applications, with some institutions reporting increases in applications as high as 30 percent between 2019 and 2021.

Additionally, the report discusses the significant economic impact that stems from graduating from a HBCU. By the time they reach age 30, roughly 30 percent of all HBCU graduates ascend two or more income quintiles than that of their parents. In comparison, only 18 percent of students from non-HBCUs reach this same level of economic progress by age 30.

Despite the many positive benefits of attending an HBCU, these schools are typically severely underfunded compared to traditionally White institutions. According to the report, the endowment for public HBCUs is about 50 percent less than the endowment for public non-HBCUs.

The White House report outlines efforts made to address the underfunding of HBCUs. This includes initiatives at the state and federal level, such as American Rescue Plan, which invested $16 billion in financial aid support, research funding, and debt relief to HBCUs.

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