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Students who attend historically Black colleges and universities earn $16,600 less on average than peers from non-HBCUs a decade after starting college, according to a new brief from the Institute for College Access and Success.

The brief draws on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. It found that the median annual salary for students who went to HBCUs was $37,920, compared to $54,557 for non-HBCU students. Meanwhile, student loan borrowers who attended HBCUs owed 130 percent more than their original loan balance a decade after entering repayment, compared to borrowers from non-HBCUs, who owed 67 percent of their original loan balances on average.

HBCUs, on average, also had a lower share of graduates than non-HBCUs who saw an earnings premium, meaning they earn at least as much as the median wages for early-career working adults in their states, 59 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

“Our findings provide evidence consistent with previous research—students at HBCUs borrow more in loans, accumulate more debt, and experience lower rates of repayment compared to their peers who attended non-HBCUs,” the brief reads. “Our findings reflect how the impact of systemic racism—including chronic underfunding of HBCUs—diminishes the value of a college degree for Black students, and subsequently, the potential for students to improve their economic mobility.”

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