The Huge Racial Gap in College Completion Rates

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows a large and persisting racial gap in college graduation rates. The study tracked students who entered college in the fall of 2003. Of those students who enrolled at two-year community colleges in 2003, only 10.3 percent of blacks attained an associate’s degree by 2009. Another 6.2 percent of black students had earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. For whites, nearly 30 percent of students entering two-year colleges in 2003 had earned either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree by 2009.

For those students entering a four-year college or university in 2003, 40.5 percent of black students earned a bachelor’s degree from any institution over the next six years. For whites, the figure was 62.6 percent.