There is no way to possibly put into words or numbers the true value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As a proud graduate of one, (the real TSU, Tennessee State University), I know firsthand the impacts my HBCU experience and degree have had in my personal and professional life.
As much as I would like for everyone to know and understand the value I got from my HBCU, my story wouldn't do it justice. However, the new economic impact study on HBCUs from the United Negro College Fund reveals all that HBCUs play a vital role in this country and beyond. We got receipts on this greatness.
In their report: HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the UNCF takes a look at the economic benefits HBCUs bring to both HBCU students and the communities that house them. Here's some of what it found:
- HBCUs generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually which equates to a ranking in the top 200 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations.
- Every dollar in spending by an HBCU and its students produces $1.44 billion in initial and subsequent spending for its local and regional economies.
- HBCUs generate 134,090 jobs in total for their local and regional economy equivalent to the jobs provided by the nation's 48th largest private employer.
- For each job created on an HBCU campus, another 1.3 public and private sector jobs are created off campus because of HBCU related spending.
Not only do HBCUs help the local and regional economy through spending and job creation, but they also help the earning potential of their graduates. The more than 50,000 HBCU graduates in 2014 can expect to total earnings of $130 billion over their lifetimes.
So the next time anyone tries to question the value of an HBCU, no need to throw out famous alumni like Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University!). Just show them these receipts.
Proud alum of an HBCU or proud supporter? Share your thoughts on the report in the comments section below.