Our Challenge

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]

Higher Education

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]

Social Justice

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]

Despite outperforming their better-resourced peers in terms of upward mobility and other performance metrics, HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions have been significantly underfunded and under-resourced on a comparable basis.  
Maintaining a lower-cost college opportunity serves as a critical component of the mission of many MSIs, which limits the ability of these schools to offset declining federal and state support.

This sustained underfunding and the financial limitations of the student and alumni populations that MSIs serve have severely limited investment in core infrastructure and innovation--creating future performance, mission, and in some cases viability risk. 

Partnership for Education Advancement seeks to provide services and resources to support these institutions and their longstanding missions to serve under-resourced populations striving to improve themselves through higher education.