Over Time, HBCU Male Graduates’ Earnings Outpace Black Male Graduates of Other Schools

Black men who earn degrees from historically Black
colleges and universities have higher lifetime earnings than those attending
other four-year institutions, according to a new study by researchers from
Virginia Tech.

The findings on
the economic impact of HBCUs are described in the study “The Wage Earnings
Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” which will appear in
the next issue of Southern Economic Journal.

“Our study …
shows that Black males have no initial advantage from HBCU attendance but that
their wages increase 1.4 percent to 1.6 percent faster per year after attending
HBCUs compared to Black males who attended other colleges and universities,”
says Dr. Bradford F. Mills, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and
Applied Economics.

Researchers
analyzed existing data from the National Longitudinal Surveys, which gathered
information at various points in time on the financial situation of men and
women from 1979 and 2004. They created earnings profiles of individuals over
time and looked at the impact HBCU attendance has on initial post-college
earnings, current wage data and the average annual growth rate of wages.

Previous studies
on the earnings of HBCU graduates revealed conflicting results — a 1994 study
found an up to 12 percent wage loss for HBCU graduates compared to graduates of
other schools but a 1995 study said HBCU graduates earned 38 percent more than
Black graduates of other schools.

“We agree with studies from both researchers, but we
reconcile the differences by showing how the benefits of HBCU attendance accrue
over time, with the greatest rewards in later years,” Mills says.

– Diverse Staff

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