News » Citydesk

Study: College Degrees Don't Shield Blacks, Hispanics From Racial Wealth Gap



As nearly 50 million students prepare to begin another year of studies at American colleges and universities, a sobering study has been released, revealing college degrees don't shield minorities "from both short-term crises and longstanding challenges."

The research, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, indicates that while college graduates accumulate more wealth over long periods than those without a degree, job market difficulties specific to Hispanic and black college graduates hinder opportunities to realize those financial gains.

“The long-term trend is shockingly clear,” William R. Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told The New York Times. “White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately.”

From 1992 to 2013—which included three recessions, including the severe downturn of 2007-2009—the median net worth of black students who finished college dropped nearly 56 percent. During the same period, the median net worth of whites and Asians with college degrees rose about 86 percent and nearly 90 percent, respectively. 

  • New York Times