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HBCU Graduates Create a $14.8 Billion Economic Impact on U.S. Economy, New Report

A new study shows individuals who graduate from Historically Black Colleges and Universities create an economic impact of $14.8 billion in the American economy.

The report contends if alumni of these schools were viewed as a business, they would be ranked in the 200 of Forbes Fortune 500 list.

(Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

According to the “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities” study, commissioned by the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, a research arm of the United Negro College Fund, Black institutions, founded to educate formerly enslaved African Americans, create economic growth leaders who “enter the workforce as better thinkers and learners, with greater expertise and vastly enhanced earning prospects.”

Popular examples of HBCU attendees who have many known have made an impact on the American economy through their industries are business people include:

  • Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University, entertainment)
  • Lifestyle influencer Sean Combs (Howard University)
  • Janice Bryant Howroyd, the first African-American woman in the United States to own and operate a billion-dollar business, (North Carolina A&T University),
  • John W. Thompson, a software and tech executive (Florida A&M),
  • Rosalind Brewer, the first Black woman to Lead a Walmart Division, (Spelman College)
  • Inventor Lonnie Johnson (Tuskegee University)

However, the research provided data that considered the direct spending by the colleges and universities on the faculty teaching at the institutions, weighed the salaries of their employees, combed through their investment in academic programs and operations and examined the students’ spending patterns.

Just as institutional investment was a dynamic in the study, so were the spending habits of students while they matriculated through their bachelor’s programs.

Public HBCUs, which include schools like Howard University, Florida A&M University, Morgan State University and Grambling University, account for $9.6 billion of that total economic impact measured by the UNCF. 

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

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