Mendoza School of Business

Racial bias in muni market costs black colleges, research shows

Published: September 4, 2018 / Author: Bloomberg

Bloomberg wrote a piece about finance professor Paul Gao‘s recent research on racial bias in underwriting fees for historically black colleges and universities. 

“Because HBCUs are located in states with high levels of anti-black racial animus, underwriters face steep frictions when trying to find willing buyers,” the report read.

These higher spreads come at a significant price. Gao put the cost at $35,000 per issue on the low end. America’s 100-plus HBCUs could find better things to do with that money, said Dillard President Walter Kimbrough. More than 75 percent of students at historically black institutions rely on Pell Grants to cover tuition and expenses, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. At Dillard, for example, $35,000 would cover two full scholarships.