A Statistical Portrait of Recent African American College Graduates

New statistics from the Department of Education offer a snapshot of African Americans who earned a bachelor’s degree during the 2007-08 academic year.

• More than 67 percent of all African Americans earning bachelor’s degree were women. For Whites, 56.4 percent of all bachelor’s degrees were awarded to women.

• Slightly more than one half of all African Americans earning bachelor’s degrees were 24 years old or older. More than 29 percent were older than 30.

• More than 64 percent of all Black graduates reported that they had received a Pell Grant during their college careers. For Whites, 30.7 percent of graduates reported that they had received a Pell Grant.

• About 15 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by African Americans were in STEM fields. This is only slightly less than the percentage of Whites who received their degrees in STEM disciplines. Blacks were twice as likely as Whites to receive their degree in computer science. More than one third of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to African Americans were in the field of business.

• One year after graduating from college, 58.6 percent of African Americans were unmarried and had no dependents. Nearly a quarter were married and 16.4 percent were married and had dependents.

• One year after college, 56.6 percent of Black graduates were employed full time in one job, almost identical to the rate for Whites. More than 11 percent of African American college graduates held down two or more jobs. Nearly 13 percent were unemployed and 3.4 percent were enrolled in another degree program in higher education.

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