Higher Education's Varying Impact on Family Wealth

August 17, 2015

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis raises questions about equity in American society and the role of higher education. Typically, educators argue that more education helps individuals and their families economically. The study found that, for white and Asian families, those headed by four-year college degree holders were better protected and gained wealth during the recent economic downturn and over the long term than were similar families without college degree holders. However, black and Latino families headed by someone with a four-year college degree fared worse than did black and Latino families without a degree holder. The report offers various theories for this inconsistency and suggests further research is needed.

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