The Racial Gap in College Student Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education has issued preliminary data on graduation rates for the cohort of students who entered college in 2005 and earned their degrees within six years.

The data shows the overall graduation rate for White students in the group was 60.2 percent. For Blacks, the graduation rate was 22.3 percentage points lower at 37.9 percent.

At public colleges and universities, the Black graduation rate was 36.4 percent. At private, nonprofit institutions, the Black graduation rate was 43.1 percent.

Black and African American women had an average graduation rate that was 8.7 percent higher than the rate for Black men.

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