The Racial Gap in the Perceived Value of Higher Education

pew-researchA survey by the Pew Research Center finds that Black parents – more so than White parents – believe it is important for their children to obtain a college a degree. According to the survey, 79 percent of Black parents believe it is “extremely important” or “very important” for their children to obtain a college degree. Some 67 percent of White parents believe it is extremely or very important for their children to graduate from college.

Furthermore, the racial gap is even wider when we restrict responses to parents who said that it is “extremely important” for their children to be college educated. Using this criteria we find that 62 percent of Black parents and only 34 percent of White parents believe getting a college degree is extremely import for success in life.

Some 43 percent of Black parents said that a college education is essential to obtain middle-class status in the United States, compared to only 22 percent of White parents.


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