New Report Shows Blacks Still Lag in Degree Attainments

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a new report providing preliminary data on degree awards presented by American institutions of higher learning during the 2015-16 academic year.

The report shows that African Americans earned 334,145 degrees from four-year U.S. higher education institutions in the 2015-16 academic year. This was 10.2 percent of all degrees from four-year institutions. Blacks earned 9.5 percent of all degrees from private colleges and universities and 21.8 percent of all degrees from for-profit institutions.

At two-year colleges and universities, African Americans earned 178,157 degrees in the 2015-16 academic year. This was 14 percent of all degrees awarded at two-year institutions.

The report shows that African Americans earned 81,347 master’s degrees in the 2015-16 academic year. This was 10.4 percent of all master’s degrees. Black women received 69.8 percent of all master’s degrees earned by African Americans.

Blacks earned 5,264 doctoral degrees in research fields. This was 7.8 percent of all research doctorates. African Americans earned 6,911 doctoral degrees in professional practice fields, 6.5 percent of all doctorates in professional fields. Black women earned more than 65 percent of all doctorates awarded to African Americans.

The full report, Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2016–17; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2015–16; and 12-Month Enrollment, 2015–16, can be downloaded here.


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