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A new report suggests that Historically Black Colleges and Universities contribute to the upward mobility of their students from low-income families, the Brookings Institution reports.

Researchers at the Equal Opportunity Project released new administrative data and an analysis, which show that HBCUs “actually have a better track record at fostering mobility than many thought,” Brookings said.

Many have questioned over the years whether HBCUs are effective at helping to pull their students up the economic ladder. As Brookings, a nonprofit public policy organization, pointed out, the institutions have a lower than average graduation rate, and their students tend to have higher than average student loan debt.

However, the researchers found that over 85 percent of the HBCUs analyzed have a higher than average “mobility score.” Part of the reason is that they enroll a significant percentage of lower-income students.

Nicholas Turner, a U.S. Treasury official, contributed to the study led by scholars from the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University and Brown University. They used tax records to determine the financial status of students by the time they reach their 30s.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund reports that 22 percent of African-Americans completed a bachelor’s degree at an HBCU.

SOURCE: Brookings Institution


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Data Shows HBCUs Enable Upward Mobility Of Low-Income Students  was originally published on