The Huge Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that 39.5 percent of Black students who entered four-year-college bachelor’s degree programs in 2004, earned their degree within six years. For Whites, the figure was 61.5 percent, 22 percentage points higher than the rate for Blacks. Slightly more than half of all Hispanic students who entered four-year colleges in 2004 earned their degree within six years.

At private, nonprofit colleges, Black students did slightly better. Nearly 45 percent of Black students who entered private, nonprofit colleges in 2004 earned their degree within six years. But the racial gap was slightly wider at these schools. Nearly 68 percent of White students who entered college in 2004 received their degree within six years.

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