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

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

 

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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 https://www.uncf.org/programs/hbcu-impact.

“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.”

Months after meeting with HBCU Presidents, Trump still giving mixed messages on Black colleges

By Jane Kennedy
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Dr. Lesli Baskerville,CEO National Association for Equal Opportunity

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Repeatedly during his first 100 days, President Donald J. Trump signaled to the leaders and supporters of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that the federal support on which HBCUs depend would remain a priority under his administration.
One sign of hope was an executive order that the president signed in February to move the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the Education Department to the White House, which some believed was an indication that HBCUs would indeed continue to be a priority under the new administration that had been expressed by the President.
But, doubts surfaced just weeks later after dozens of HBCU presidents and leaders met with the President in the Oval Office Feb. 27 for a meeting that was widely panned as little more than a photo op. That same month, Education Secretary Betsey DeVos was heavily criticized for a statement in which she praised HBCUs as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice”.
HBCUs were actually birthed from legalized racial segregation when African-Americans had no choice but to attend Black schools. It was, in part, the aftermath of that statement that caused graduates at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach to boo and turn their backs on DeVos in protest as she began their commencement speech May 10.
Still, the Trump administration has sent yet another troubling message concerning HBCUs, contained in a signing statement connected to a temporary federal spending measure. The statement said, “Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program Account” among other funds, the order said, “My Administration shall treat provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender…in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”
This HBCU Capital Financing Program Account, which provides HBCUs with funding at reasonable rates to build new and renovate infrastructure on their aging campuses, was created in 1992 as part of the Higher Education Act passed by Congress. According to Black lawmakers and other HBCU advocates, race is not a criteria and to qualify for the loans the schools must meet standards based on mission, accreditation status and the year an institution was established.
Hours after the White House released the signing statement, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) issued a joint response that questioned both Trump’s understanding of the Capital Financing Program and his commitment to HBCUs.
“Trump’s statement is not only misinformed factually, it is not grounded in any serious constitutional analysis,” it read. “For a president who pledged to reach out to African-American and other minorities, this statement is stunningly careless and divisive. We urge him to reconsider immediately.”
Dr. Lezli Baskerville, president/CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), in a lengthy statement noted that HBCUs serve diverse student bodies. “Since their founding, HBCUs have been open to, welcoming and supportive of persons from all races, ethnicities, religions, and both genders except for the gender-specific HBCUs,” she said. “HBCUs enroll roughly 30% of non-African American students. Their faculty is more than 40% non African American. Today 5 HBCUs are more than 50% non-African American. At least one is majority Hispanic serving. One is being shepherded by a white female president.”
If the administration were to withdraw from the program, she added, it would be “devastating to these equal opportunity institutions to whose presidents and chancellors President Trump pledged the largest investments in their history.”
The President has hastened to clarify the signing statement and assuage his critics, stating that the signing statement “does not affect my unwavering support for HBCUs and their critical education missions.” Noting the executive order he signed in February to strengthen their capacity, he said his commitment “remains unchanged.”
On that, Baskerville is willing to give Trump the benefit of doubt and told the Trice Edney News Wire that DeVos’ decision to deliver her first commencement speech at an HBCU “is an important indication that this administration understands the centrality of HBCUs to the realization of many of its priority goals, including its education, workforce, economic stimulus, urban and rural revitalization, and infrastructure development goals.” Baskerville also said that the experience will help DeVos become an “even more potent voice” for HBCUs.
But, Conyers and Richmond aren’t buying it: “Sadly and shamefully, HBCUs, including the schools that President Trump met with, are left to wonder whether he wants to help or hurt them,” they said in the joint statement. “If President Trump really wants to help HBCUs, he’ll implement the proposals the CBC has suggested to him in several letters, including the letter we sent him on April 27, calling for robust funding for a host of programs that support students served by these schools.”