Census Data Shows the Problem of Graduation Rates Among African-American College Students

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates the problem of low retention and graduation rates for African-American college students. The report shows that in October 2008 there were 1,690,000 African Americans enrolled in college. Of these, 522,000 were freshmen. There were 467,000 black students enrolled in their second year of college. There were 336,000 blacks enrolled as college juniors and only 172,000 blacks were seniors. Therefore, there are three times as many blacks enrolled as freshmen as there are enrolled as seniors.

It must be noted that not all the attrition is due to blacks who drop out of college. Many African-American students attend community college and leave after earning an associate’s degree, which usually can be obtained in two years.