Study Finds Black Students Who Used School Vouchers Are More Likely to Attend College

 A new report from the Brookings Institution finds that school vouchers have a significant impact on the college enrollment rates of African Americans. The study tracked elementary school students who were offered tuition vouchers for private schools from the New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation. Overall, the study found that students who were part of the voucher program did not go on to enroll in college at a greater rate than students as whole. But the results showed that African American students who went to private or parochial schools under the voucher program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college. And Black students who benefited from vouchers were twice as likely as other students to enroll in highly selective colleges and universities.

The report was authored by Matthew M. Chingos, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and Paul E. Peterson, the Henry lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. You can download the complete report here.

Related Articles


  1. There should be nothing surprising about the finding that African American students who went to a private school under the voucher program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college. The report is worded as if the voucher program were the determining factor for college enrollment. The fact is that the overall benefits of attendance at a private school are the cause. School vouchers have the impact because they are entre’ to the private schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education than are many of the public schools. Many public schools, particularly those in urban areas with high concentrations of African American students, poorer quality facilities, and fewer teachers prepared to earnestly work with minority populations do not have the facilities to prepare and motivate students for college as can the more favorably endowed private schools.

    If this is a ploy for pushing for vouchers, let us not lose sight of the fact that long standing racism is the reason for the need for vouchers. The playing field can not be levelled by giving vouchers to students who would have done just as well without vouchers. All they needed was an opportunity for a decent education.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

Terrence Mitchell was appointed executive director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Faye Belgrave has been named vice president and chief diversity officer at Virginia Commonwealth University and Tammy Bennett is the inaugural vice president for inclusive excellence in philanthropy at the University of Cincinnati Foundation.

Federal Government Calls on States to End Funding Disparities at Black Land-Grant Universities

The federal government sent letters to 16 governors emphasizing the over $12 billion disparity in funding between land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their non-HBCU land-grant peers in their states. Unequitable appropriated funding of the 1890 institutions in the states ranges from $172 million to $2.1 billion.

A Trio of Black Scholars in New Faculty Roles at Universities

The City College of New York has appointed Jervette R. Ward as director of the Black Studies Program. Scotti Branton is a new assistant professor of communication at the University of Arkansas, and professor Danille Taylor was appointed director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum.

Shaw University to Expand Its Presence to Research Triangle Park

The collaboration will secure Shaw University a dedicated office space within Frontier RTP innovation campus, located in the heart of the city's new vibrant downtown area. The space will include private offices and an administrative area dedicated to Shaw University, as well as classroom space.

Featured Jobs