National Institute on Aging

Study Finds Low Black Student Enrollments at Top-Tier Public Universities

caplogoA new study from the Center for American Progress finds that Black students have low enrollment levels at top-tier public universities and are overrepresented at lower-tier state schools.

The study found that just 9 percent of all Black students enrolled in higher education nationwide attended high-ranking, state-operated research universities. For Whites the figure was 19 percent. For Asian Americans, 31 percent attended these top public research universities.

The authors write that “disparities in college enrollment matter, as the type of school a student attends plays a substantial role in their likelihood of successful completion. The most elite public colleges conduct high levels of academic research, have selective admissions, and produce strong outcomes. At these colleges, the average graduation rate is nearly double those at less-selective public colleges.”

The report also broke down the data by state. In North Carolina, only 4 percent of all Black students attended a top-tier, state-operated research institution. In Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Arkansas only 5 percent of Black students were enrolled at top-tier public universities.

 The study, Closed Doors: Black and Latino Students Are Excluded From Top Public Universities, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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