Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are Historically Black Colleges & Universities adding to the economic crisis?


As if we needed another metric to illustrate the wealth gap between African-Americans and others, a recent analysis of key outcome measures for 1,576 four-year public and private colleges in the U.S, shows that graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more likely to default on student loans.
According to an analysis of data provided by CollegeMeasures.org:
·         42 percent of the 116 colleges and universities with a default rate of 10 percent or higher are HBCUs.
·         HBCUs have the highest student loan default rate among all public colleges in 19 states. (There are only 21 states with HBCUs.)
·         Eight of the top 10 colleges and universities around the country with the highest student loan default rates are HBCUs.
Let’s put these findings in perspective. The national student loan default rate is seven percent, which is the highest it has been since 1997, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Yet of the 105 recognized HBCUs that are either four-year public schools, four-year private schools, or two-year public schools, 50 HBCUs have student loan default rates of 10 percent or higher.

In response to the national seven percent default rate, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said: "This data confirms what we already know: that many students are struggling to pay back their student loans during very difficult economic times. That's why the Administration has expanded programs like income based repayment and Pell grants to help students in financial need."

If the national student loan default rate is of concern, the default rate among HBCUs is at crisis-level -- for the entire HBCU-system and its graduates.

Click to read more of Right of Black co-host Shanon D. Murray’s column on TheLoop21.com & listen in TONIGHT at 9 p.m. ET to discuss whether schools specifically for Black students are still necessary. Call us at 347.826.7128 to let us know what you think.

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