HBCUs among nation's best at producing social mobility for low-income students
- The Brookings Institute offers an analysis of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which according to recent research, are nearly twice as effective at moving students from low-income households to higher tiers of postgraduate earnings.
- The analysis pinpoints enrollment disparities between HBCUs and predominantly white four-year institutions, specifically highlighting that HBCUs enroll far more low-income students than their non-HBCU peer institutions, and earn higher scores for social mobility outcomes.
- While PWIs spend more per student and help graduates to earn more wealth, the raw number of black graduates earning more than the households from which they came is far greater from the smaller, historically black institutions.
Everyone understands the open-access mission and the academic casualties which can be associated with it: lower graduation rates, lower retention rates and higher loan default rates. But this research shows college leaders that there is a culture of learning and opportunity for students who are not born into college preparation and access, and there should be room for these students to earn degrees without being priced out of attendance.
Executives at HBCUs and community colleges should seek every opportunity to share individual success stories of graduates making good on the open access mission, and sharing data that compares the performance of low-income students at elite institutions with similar entering credentials, versus those at less selective schools. This will begin to shape the narrative of how higher education should work for all and should be funded equally across varying sizes and impact objectives between schools.
- Brookings Institute The contribution of historically black colleges and universities to upward mobility
- Education Dive Measuring the impact of poverty in education