Newswire : Report: HBCUs generate $14.8 Billion in economic impact

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)


Graduates of Howard University

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually, which is equivalent to a ranking in the top 200 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations, according to a stunning new report by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

The report, conducted by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business Selig Center for Economic Growth, revealed that Miles College in Birmingham, a 1,634-student Alabama school generates $67 million for its local region.

In total, the nation’s HBCUs generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually; that’s equivalent to a ranking in the top 200 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. This estimate includes direct spending by HBCUs on faculty, employees, academic programs and operations, and by students attending the institutions, as well as the follow-on effects of that spending. • Public HBCUs account for $9.6 billion of that total economic impact, while private HBCUs account for $5.2 billion.

The economic impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) on their local communities has never been stronger, especially at Miles College in Fairfield, Ala.

A new report funded by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and

Fact sheets for the economic impact of individual HBCUs are available at

“It’s the first time that we’ve had a study conducted by such a professional institution to recognize the importance of HBCUs and particularly the impact on our community,” Miles College President Dr. George T. French, Jr., told the NNPA Newswire. “We’ve talked in general terms, but to quantify this is important so that our partners can understand the value of our institution. It’s a win-win for our region and for government partners who look to partner with us.”

The landmark study titled, “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” makes clear that the benefits also flow to the local and regional economies connected to Miles College.

The study is a precursor to a larger report that UNCF plan to release on Tuesday, November 14, about the overall impact of all 105 of the nation’s HBCUs.

“The presence of an HBCU means a boost to economic activity, on and off—and even well beyond—campus. Stronger growth, stronger communities, more jobs and a more talented workforce,” UNCF authors wrote in the report.

The benefits flow to Miles College’s graduates, who’ll enter the workforce with sharper skills and vastly enhanced earning prospects, according to the report.

For every $1 spent by Miles College and its students, $1.48 is generated in initial and subsequent spending for the local and regional area, authors of the report said.

Miles College tuition for in-state and out-of-state students is $11,604 annually and the school offers courses in accounting, communication, education, humanities, social and behavior sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.

The study found that the school generates 730 jobs in its area, a total that includes 377 on campus positions and 353 off-campus workers.

For each job created on campus, another 0.9 public-or-private-sector job is created off campus because of Miles College-related spending, researchers found.

Each $1 million initially spent by Miles College and its students creates 16 jobs, according to the report.

“It’s eye-opening and, in addition to the 730 jobs created, there’s a 1-to-1 match for every full-time job at Miles, we create another job in our region,” French said. “So, we have about 377 employees on campus, but because of that, we’ve created 350 off-campus jobs.”

Miles College also plays a major role in the economic success of its graduates by enhancing their education, training and leadership skills, according to researchers.

As an example, the 196 Miles College graduates from 2014 can expect total earnings of $497 million over their lifetimes—a stunning 77 percent more than they could expect to earn without their college credentials.

Viewed on an individual bases, a Miles College graduate working full-time throughout his or her working career can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income due to a college credential.

“What you’re looking at is, when you round it to 200 students, they already have over $2 million more in earning potential in their careers which increases by $1.1 million, because of having a degree from Miles College,” French said. “I think it’s important to have this conversation for young people, who must decide if college is worth it. At the end of the day, it’s a great economic decision.”

The figures also allow college officials to approach state and local government officials, when funding for recruitment and other programs are needed, French said.

French said, adding that because of the report he believes the city will be even more cooperative with Miles College. “With this study, we can go to the government and say we need additional money for cutting-edge programs and recruitment,” he said. “We’ve requested and will have a meeting with the city to compare our master plan with what the city is doing. Here we are, this economic engine with a $52 million annual budget and we can be helping the city with its master planning and their master plan can be intersecting with what we’re doing.”

Leave a Reply