Determinants of Graduation Rates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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Xueyu Cheng|Sontachai Suwanakul|Ruohan Wu
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play a crucial role in providing higher education for African Americans. It was reported that the 6-year graduation rate for 4-year HBCUs is lower than the national college graduation rate for African Americans. The role of HBCUs in providing higher education for African Americans has been challenged. This paper examines the factors influencing HBCU graduation rates using data from College Results Online. We investigate the effects of college quality, college cost, student characteristics and local labor market on HBCU graduation rates. We set up a theoretical model of education production and estimate the model using Instrumental Variables method to account for the endogeneity of college cost. We find that college quality and college cost are the important factors affecting the graduation rate of HBCUs. Specifically, college quality has a positive effect, college cost has a negative effect and financial aid has a positive effect on graduation rate of HBCUs. Improving the quality and reducing the net price of college education are among the effective measures to improve the graduation rate of HBCUs.
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