Older African Americans Are More Likely Than Older Whites to Be Currently Enrolled in College

Whether the student is white or black, the common American vision of an entering college student is that of an 18-year-old who is a recent high school graduate. But this is not always the case, especially for African Americans.

In October 2008, according to a new Census Bureau report, there were nearly 1.1 million African Americans ages 25 and over who were then enrolled in higher education. This older group was 44.2 percent of all black students who were enrolled in college or graduate school.

In 2008 some 11 percent of the entire African-American population in the 30 to 34 age group was enrolled in higher education. In contrast, only 6.9 percent of the entire white population in the 30 to 34 age group was enrolled in college or graduate school.

If we look at the 35 to 44 age group, here, too, we find that blacks are more likely to be enrolled in higher education than whites.

In 2008, 279,000 African Americans ages 35 to 44 were enrolled in higher education. They made up 11.2 percent of all African-American college students.