Black Enrollments in Higher Education Continue to Drop

department_of_educationA new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers preliminary data on higher education enrollments in the fall of 2014. The report includes data on all students enrolled at Title IV institutions. These are educational entities that are permitted to participate in federal student financial assistance programs.

In 2014, there was a total of 20,663,464 students enrolled in high education. Of these 2,726,098 were African Americans. Thus, Blacks made up 13.2 percent of all enrollments in higher education. This is down from 13.4 percent in 2013.

Of the 2,726,098 African Americans enrolled in higher education, 2,396,564 were enrolled as undergraduates at Title IV institutions in the fall of 2014. Of these Black undergraduate students, 55.2 percent were enrolled at four-year institutions.

The same report issued a year ago found that in the fall of 2013 there were 2,790,255 African Americans enrolled at Title IV institutions in the United States. Two years earlier, the same report listed 2,966,463 African Americans enrolled in these institutions. Thus in 2014, there were nearly a quarter million fewer African American students enrolled in higher education than was the case in 2011. This is a drop of more than 8 percent.

In 2014, African Americans were 12.1 percent of all students enrolled in state-operated colleges and universities and 11.2 percent of total enrollments at private, nonprofit institutions. But Blacks made up 25.8 percent of all students enrolled at for-profit institutions of higher education.

The full report, Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2014; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2014, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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  1. I am curious to know if the strict credit criteria for PLUS loans was a large contributing factor to the decrease in enrollment. There were also some other financial aid regulations that were implemented that would have likely caused more black students to not enroll in college. I have been a financial aid administrator for more than 25 years. I cannot stress enough that early planning and financial aid awareness are essential in helping students enroll and furthermore, succeed in college.

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