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Allison Joyner

Report: Morehouse, Spelman grads make more than Black grads in Georgia

The Atlanta University Center schools also ranked among the top five Historically Black Colleges with Xavier University of Louisiana, Hampton University, and Florida A&M University. 

By Allison Joyner

College ranking company, Online U, revealed the top ten Historically Black Colleges and Universities whose graduates make more money than African Americans in their state. Morehouse College and Spelman College ranked high on the list.

The data from the report came from the Equitable Value Explorer, which serves as a dashboard for the information released from the Postsecondary Value Commission. The explorer allows institutional leaders, researchers and policymakers to explore the economic value colleges and universities deliver to students. “The Postsecondary Value Commission is a nonprofit data resource from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and what they did is take a ton of data from the U.S. Department of Education and provide a bunch of data about schools,” said Taylor Nichols, data reporter for Online U. “One of the data points that they include is median earnings by the school.”

To help students accomplish their educational career goals, Online U conducts research on thousands of online degree programs to provide accurate, detailed and salary information of alumni of the college. Their ranking lists are the first to rank student outcomes analysis like alumni salaries. 

Spelman College

Spelman College was ranked the nation's 131st greenest campus partly because of curriculum offerings on sustainability. Credit: http://spelmanstudentlife.orgsync.com

When Nichols compiled this list, Spelman ranked second, with their graduates making a median salary of over $9,000 more than Blacks in Georgia. 

With Black women making $0.63 for every dollar a White man makes– according to the National Women’s Law Center– she was surprised to see the all-women institution so high on the list. Spelman, which has a 75 percent graduation rate, has nearly half of its graduates pursuing further education to gain employment in business, accounting, and health-related professions. 

Nichols also told SaportaReport that graduates who become Atlanta Public School teachers start out earning over $2,000 more than in other Georgia public school systems. 

“Teachers with six years of experience earn $55,235 per year, which is above the state salary threshold for Black graduates and maybe boosting salaries for Spelman alumnae who stay in Atlanta,” Nichols said. 

The incoming freshman class of 2025 line up in front of MLK Chapel to head to New Student Orientation activities. (Photo by Philip McCollum, courtesy of Morehouse College)

Ranking fourth in the list, Morehouse alumni– a majority Black male institution–received a median salary of almost $4,000 more than Blacks in the state. However, economic graduates, who are in the top 92nd percentile of their field of study, and business administration graduates, who are in the 72nd percentile, earn more r than the average compared to business graduates across the country. 

With PayScale analyzing that Black men make $0.81 for every dollar their White counterparts make, Nichols said that race plays a significant role in this pay gap. 

She also wrote in her report to give students who want to go to an HBCU a look at how much they might earn after graduation. 

“Comparing median earnings at HBCUs to other Black graduates in the state accounts for racial inequities in the labor market that negatively impact salaries for Black college graduates,” Nichols said. 

Click here to read the study.

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