Are HBCUs still relevant? It’s the recurring question that has been seen in many op-ed pieces as of late, but in lieu of this question comes another—are students who choose to attend a historically black college over an elite college hurting their future earnings potential?

The New York Times recently addressed this question on their Economix blog in “The Declining Payoff From Black Colleges,” in which they cite a 2007 study conducted by Roland G. Fryer Jr., a professor of economics at Harvard University, and Michael Greenstone, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who conclude that it is in fact true that students who graduate from an HBCU will suffer a “wage penalty.”

In the study, the professors compare the earnings potential of HBCU graduates in the 1970s to the 1990s, stating that HBCU matriculation was associated with higher wages and an increased probability of graduation, as opposed to a traditionally white institution, back in the 1970s. But by the 1990s, HBCU graduates suffered from a 20 percent decline in wages.

Continued at The Atlanta Post