• The Impact of Wealth on the Higher Education Outcome of Low-Income Black Students

      Brooks, Monica D; Tift College of Education
      ABSTRACT MONICA D. BROOKS THE IMPACT OF WEALTH ON THE HIGHER EDUCATION OUTCOME OF LOW-INCOME BLACK STUDENTS Under the direction of JANE WEST, Ed.D. Using data collected from the United States Census and the National Center for Educational Statistics, the purpose of this study was to examine the causal effect of wealth and its impact on the higher education outcome of low-income Black students. A quantile threshold model was used to investigate the effect of household wealth on low-income, Black students' educational attainment. Wealth, the primary explanatory variable, is proxied by the median housing value and median household per capita income. The target or dependent variable is education attainment among low-income, Black students. The control variables were the Black-to-White population ratio, number of retail trade establishments, student-to-teacher ratio, and public education budget per student allocations. The sample period runs from 1990 through 2018. The study employs quantile regression and finds that (a) household wealth has a positive and significant effect on the higher education attainment of low-income, Black students (b) the magnitude of the impact of household wealth on the educational attainment of low-income, Black students is time-varying, and asymmetric since the effects of household wealth vary in statistical significance across different quantiles of Black students' higher education attainment; (c) White-flight, which is associated with wealth flight, has a negative causal effect on the educational attainment of Black students. The results from this study show that higher education outcomes are reflective of household wealth. Policymakers should consider the accumulation and sustainability of household wealth as a critical driver of educational attainment in different communities.