Read Kirwan Institute Executive Director Darrick Hamilton’s most recent article, published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Here is an excerpt from the article:
The racial wealth gap in America is appalling. Evidence from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that the typical black family has $17,600 in median wealth (inclusive of homeownership), which is nearly $100,000 less than the $171,000 median wealth of a white family. What’s more, that number skyrockets to a $800,000 gap when comparing the mean wealth of a white family to that of a black family.
This is due in large part to the iterative nature of wealth and higher education. Families with financial advantages can “buy” crucial advantages for their children, such as the ability to obtain a college degree without accruing costly educational debts. Lack of wealth — primarily inherited wealth — prevents many black families from accessing this advantage, contributing to a compounding distance between those born with resources and those who are not. As a result, black college students are more likely to take on debt for higher education and more likely to drop out of college because of financial concerns.
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The editorial staff of The Chronicle had no role in its preparation.