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New Study Finds Spelman College Makes Multi-Million-Dollar Economic Impact Share a Spelman College Press Release

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For Immediate Release

Media Contact: 
Carole Carr
Spelman College

Spelman's Economic ImpactATLANTA (November 20, 2017) - Spelman College is a valuable economic engine in its community. A landmark study commissioned by UNCF—HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities—makes it clear, Spelman is generating substantial economic returns year after year for its local and regional economies. 

The study’s key findings (based on 2014 data) focus on three areas; total economic impact, employment and lifetime earning for graduates. According to the results, Spelman generates $199 million in total economic impact for the metro Atlanta area and creates approximately 1,625 jobs. The data collected also examined 464 Spelman graduates in 2014 with expected total earnings of $1.2 billion over their lifetimes—that’s 77 percent more than they could expect to earn without their college credentials. 

The report considered direct spending by Spelman on faculty, employees, academic programs and operations—and by students attending the institution, as well as the ongoing effects of that spending. 

"This report confirms that, as engines of economic growth and change, there’s much that Spelman contributes to the regional economy and to the life-long success of its graduates,”said President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., noting that the College is focused on preparing graduates to pursue careers in fields that are currently in high demand including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to the National Science Foundation, Spelman is the No. 1 undergraduate institution of origin of Black women Ph.D.s in STEM disciplines. Since 2000, 16 percent of Spelman’s graduates have entered STEM graduate programs (including psychology), and in the past decade a total of 104 Spelman graduates have earned doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences.

Spelman’s accomplishments play a vital role in the future generations of leaders and global change agents, representative of our diverse national population. The College has become synonymous with producing Black women founders of technology companies. The 2016 #ProjectDiane Report on the state of Black women in tech entrepreneurship in the United States ranked Spelman among the top 10 schools educating Black women who create tech startups.

Every dollar spent by an HBCU and its students generates $1.44 in initial and subsequent spending for the institution’s local and regional economies; particularly significant as many HBCUs are in southern communities where overall economic growth has lagged. 

HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities demonstrates conclusively: HBCUs matter—not only to students, but also to employers, economic development and the economy.

For more information, visit HBCUs Make America Strong.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Starbucks President and Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit

About UNCF
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


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