The Very Large Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates Persists

New data from the U.S. Department of Education shows a continuing huge racial gap in college completion rates. The new data is for students who entered college in 2010 and earned a degree by 2016.

The statistics show that 35.8 percent of Black students who enrolled at four-year colleges in 2010 had earned a diploma by 2016. For Whites, 60.7 percent of students who entered college in 2010 had graduated by 2016. At private four-year colleges and universities, the Black graduation rate was 41.1 percent compared to a White graduation rate of 68.0 percent. Thus, the graduation rate gap is higher at private institutions than at state-operated educational institutions.

The report also shows a gender gap in college completion rates for African Americans. For Black students entering college in 2010, 39.2 percent of women earned their degrees within six years compared to 31.2 percent of Black men.

The full report, Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2008–13; Outcome Measures for Cohort Year 2008; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2015– 16; and Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2016, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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