Among Four-Year College Graduates, Blacks Are More Likely Than Whites to Enroll in Graduate Education

In 2005 African Americans earned 8.9 percent of all the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States. This was an all-time high. Yet the percentage of blacks earning bachelor’s degrees is still considerably below the black percentage of the U.S. population. The racial disparity in degree attainment also prevails at the graduate degree level. Blacks make up 8.5 percent of all master’s degree recipients and 6.4 percent of all students who receive doctoral degrees.

But a new study from the U.S. Department of Education shows that for college graduates, blacks are actually more likely than whites to enroll in graduate education. The research shows that for all students who graduated from four-year colleges in 1993, 45.4 percent of blacks had enrolled in graduate education by 2003. For whites, 39.2 percent had enrolled in a graduate program over the 10-year period since receiving their bachelor’s degree.

Black graduate school enrollments were higher than those of whites across the board. African-American college graduates were more likely than similarly educated whites to enroll in MBA programs, in professional degree studies, and in doctoral programs. Whites were more likely than blacks to enroll in master’s degree programs in education.