Report Finds Huge Gains in Black Expectations for Higher Education

A new Department of Education study finds that over the past two decades young blacks have greatly increased their educational expectations. The research shows that in 1980, 21.8 percent of black high school sophomores said they expected to go on to college and earn a bachelor’s degree. By 2002 nearly 41 percent of all black high school sophomores said they planned to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In 2002 the percentage of black high school sophomores who expected to earn a bachelor’s degree was higher than the percentage of whites who thought they would complete college.

The report also found that in 1980 only 19 percent of black tenth-graders thought they would go on to earn a graduate or professional degree. By 2002 this percentage had increased to 36.1 percent.