A college education offers a path for social mobility in our country, but that path has been especially challenging for under-resourced students. These students are disproportionately African Americans, minority, and first-generation. Investing in colleges and universities that primarily serve these populations is crucial for combating structural inequities and advancing social justice.
Only 11% of low-income, first-generation college students will have a college degree within six years of enrolling in school, compared to about 55% of peers who were not low-income or first-generation students, according to a Pell Institute study. [Source: Postsecondary National Policy Institute]
Mission focused schools such as HBCUs dedicate substantial support to low-income, first-generation students. More than 75% of students at HBCUs rely on federal Pell Grants to offset their college expenses. [Source: JBHE] And nearly 70% of students at HBCUs attain at least middle-class incomes upon graduation. [Source: Rutgers Center for MSIs]
Education gaps fuel the racial wealth gap: African American families have an average family net worth of $24,000, Hispanic or Latino families have an average of $36,000, while white families have an average of $188,000. [Source: Federal Reserve]