Fact Sheet | February 7, 2024

Race and Economic Mobility: College Value at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Current assessments of college value are incomplete and can even be misleading when they do not account for the unique economic conditions of students of color before, during, and after they leave college. Broader issues like structural racism cascade into inequities in college affordability but are often left out of national ranking systems and discussions on college value. TICAS’s Race and Economic Mobility (REM) metric offers a better gauge of potential economic outcomes to support its ongoing advocacy for equitable investments in both students of color and colleges serving the largest shares of racially marginalized students. 

Our latest brief examines economic outcomes for students at four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The analysis finds that students from HBCUs earned $16,600 less than their peers who attended non-HBCUs a decade after entering college, and that borrowers from HBCUs owed 130 percent more than their original principal a decade after entering repayment.  

This brief is the first in a three-part series about Race and Economic Mobility at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Additional information about data and methodology for the briefs can be found in the technical documentation.