Trends in Black Student Graduation Rates at Highly Ranked Universities

Here is some very good news! Of the 26 selective universities with high academic rank for which JBHE has long-term college completion data, the black graduation rate has improved at 23 institutions. At the other three universities, the black graduation rate has remained at the same high rate.

The greatest improvement in the black student college graduation rate occurred at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. There, the four-year average black graduation rate rose from 47 percent in 1998 to 78 percent in 2009. There has been an 11 percentage point gain at Carnegie Mellon over the past three years alone.

Similarly impressive gains in black student graduation rates occurred at the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, UCLA, Columbia University, Emory University, the University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt University. Each university has seen its black student graduation rate improve by at least 13 percentage points over the 11-year period from 1998 to 2009.