Public University Systems Pledge to Cut Racial Disparities in Enrollment and Graduation Rates by 2015

A new report by The Education Trust and the National Association of System Heads finds a significant difference in the percentage of minority students graduating from high school in 21 states and the percentage of minorities entering and graduating from four-year colleges and universities in those same states. The study found that underrepresented minority students — African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians — accounted for 36 percent of all high school graduates in the 21 states. But only 29 percent of the freshmen enrolling in the state university systems in those states were members of minority groups.

The overall graduation rate for students in the state university systems in these 21 states is 53 percent. For underrepresented minorities, the graduation rate is 44 percent.

The leaders of the public university systems in these 21 states have pledged to cut in half the gaps in college access and graduation rates by the year 2015.