HBCU: Punching Above Their Weight

A college degree is increasingly vital for career mobility and economic success as more employers are requiring greater levels of education and credentials. For more than 150 years, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played a leading role in graduating black students and have made significant contributions to the workforce and economic vitality of the nation.

A historically black college and university is defined as “… any historically black college or university that was established before 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of African Americans.” There are 101 accredited public and private HBCUs located in 19 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

While these institutions only represent 3 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, they are economic engines in both their regional communities and the nation, generating substantial economic returns annually. In UNCF’s landmark study, HBCUs: Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of the Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, UNCF quantified how much HBCUs are interwoven into the business fabric of their regional economies and how much graduates benefit in terms of increased earnings over a working lifetime.

The study noted that every dollar spent on, and by, an HBCU and its students has a positive chain reaction in terms of heightened economic activity, increased job creation, and greater earning potential for graduates.

Read the entire study at UNCF.org/PATW.

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