Racial Disparities in College Enrollment and Retention in Los Angeles

A new study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, Claremont Graduate University, and the nonprofit Los Angeles Education Research Institute examines college enrollment and retention rates of graduates of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The data shows a high level of participation in college but low levels of successful completion.

The research shows that 70 percent of Los Angeles high school graduates enrolled in either two- or four-year colleges, but only 25 percent of graduates went on to earn a college degree within six years.

The report found that in 2013, 64 percent of all Black graduates of Los Angeles high schools enrolled in college within one year of earning their high school diploma. This was just slightly lower than the college participation rate for White graduates of Los Angeles high schools. But just over half of the Black high school graduate persisted for a second year of college. The White persistence rate was 61 percent.

For 2008 Black graduates of Los Angeles high schools, 67 percent enrolled in college within one year but by 2014, only 22 percent had earned a bachelor’s degree. For Black men, only 16 percent earned their degrees within six years. For Whites 64 percent of 2008 high school graduate enrolled in college. But six years later, 37 percent had graduated.

The full report, College Going in LAUSD: An Analysis of College Enrollment, Persistence, and Completion Patterns, may be found here.

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