A Growing Racial Gap in Graduation Rates in the University of Maryland System

University of Maryland officials report a growing racial gap in graduation rates throughout the 13-campus system. The most recent data shows that 40 percent of all black students matriculating in the system will earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. For whites the rate is 65 percent. Thus, there is a 25 percentage point racial gap. Three years ago the racial gap was only 15 percentage points.

One reason for Maryland’s poor graduation rate performance is the system’s historically black universities. For example, at Coppin State University in Baltimore, the graduation rate is only 17 percent, down from 26 percent a decade ago.

The university system also points out that African-American enrollments have increased systemwide and many of these black students come from low-income families. Because of the economic recession many have been unable to complete their college education for financial reasons.