New Department of Education Report Examines Racial Differences in Financing Higher Education

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education examines the cohort of students who entered higher education in the 2011-12 academic year. Some of the data is broken down by racial and ethnic groups.

The data shows that African Americans made up 14 percent of the students who enrolled in higher education programs in the 2011-12 academic year. Blacks were 15.5 percent of all students who enrolled in associate’s degree programs.

Blacks were 12.8 percent of the students who enrolled in private, not-for-profit educational institutions but were nearly 23 percent of all students who enrolled in private, for-profit institutions.

Nearly 92 percent of African Americans who enrolled in higher education that year received some type of financial aid. More than 86 percent of Blacks received grants to help pay for their tuition compared to 69 percent of Whites.

Some 75 percent of Black students received federal Pell grants compared to 37.7 percent of White students.

Only 16.5 percent of Black students received merit-based grants. For White students, 24.4 percent received grants based on merit.

More than 60 percent of Blacks took out student loans compared to 46.9 percent of  Whites.

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