Racial Differences in the College Experience of the High School Class of 2005

According to the latest Department of Education figures, in the spring of 2005, 354,000 African Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 graduated from high school. Of these, 201,000, or 56.8 percent, had enrolled in either a two-year or a four-year college by October of that year. Of all 2005 black high school graduates who entered college that year, 46.3 percent enrolled in two-year colleges.

For whites, there were 1,799,000 high school graduates in the spring of 2005. Of these, 1,317,000, or 73.2 percent, had enrolled in college by that fall, a rate considerably higher than the rate for blacks. Of those white high school graduates who enrolled in college, 30.3 percent enrolled in two-year programs, a significantly smaller percentage than was the case for blacks.