Moving Upward and Onward
Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities


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Presenters from American Institutes of Research and Rutgers University discussed the value of historically black colleges and universities to both students and to the field of postsecondary education. Presenters provided an overview of their research on how predominantly white institutions and HBCUs impact graduates’ economic mobility. Their recent study compared the income of recent college graduates to parents’ incomes and found that HBCUs do a better job of helping low-income students progress into the middle class. Results showed that nearly 70% of HBCU students attain at least middle-class incomes, and most low-income HBCU students improve their long-term economic position. Reasons for their findings, as well as how all postsecondary institutions can work to improve the economic mobility of their graduates, were discussed.

Recorded on January 21, 2020

Image of Robert Nathenson Robert Nathenson is a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research. He has expertise in experimental and quasi-experimental design as well as in the execution of rigorous econometric and behavioral science techniques to applied policy questions in postsecondary education, K-12 education and health. His research focuses on questions of access, persistence, affordability, student loan debt, and mobility for minority and low-income populations. 

Image of Marybeth Gasman Gasman is the Samuel DeWitt Proctor endowed chair in education and a distinguished professor at Rutgers University. She also serves as the the executive director of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at Rutgers University as well as the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. Prior to joining the faculty at Rutgers University, she served as the director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. She is one of the leading authorities in the country on historically black colleges and universities. 

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Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Recorded on January 21, 2020