How African American Undergraduate Students Were Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study from the Institute of Educational Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education examines the impact of the COVID-19 impact on student enrollment, housing, and finance. Some of the data is broken down by racial and ethnic groups.

More than 83 percent of all African American undergraduates reported that they had experienced enrollment disruptions due to the pandemic. White students were slightly more likely to have enrollment disruptions. Some 7.2 percent of Black undergraduates said they withdrew from their college or university, more than double the rate for Whites. Another 5.6 percent of all Black undergraduates took a leave of absence, almost double the rate for Whites. More than 11 percent of all Black undergraduates had some or all of their classes canceled due to the pandemic. For Whites, the figure was 8.7 percent

Black undergraduates were less likely than White undergraduates to experience housing disruptions due to the pandemic. But more than 4 percent of Black undergraduates reported that they had difficultly finding housing arrangements, compared to 2.6 percent of White undergraduates. Some 17 percent of Black undergraduates reported that they moved back to their permanent address during the first months of the pandemic, compared to 26.1 percent of White undergraduates.

More than 44 percent of Black undergraduates reported that they experienced financial difficulty due to the pandemic. Only 37.5 percent of White undergraduates said they faced financial difficulties. More than 13 percent of Black undergraduates said they experienced food insecurity, compared to 7.3 percent of White undergraduates. Nearly one quarter of all Black undergraduates said they had difficulty finding adequate child care, compared to 18.7 percent of White undergraduates.

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