New Data on African American Degree Attainments in the United States

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers data on degrees earned during the 2016-17 academic year at Title IV institutions. Title IV educational institutions are those that have qualified to participate in federal financial aid programs for postsecondary education.

In the 2016-17 academic year, African Americans earned 349,040 degree awards from four-year Title IV institutions. They accounted for 10.2 percent of all degrees awarded that year. Nearly 18 percent of these awards were from for-profit educational institutions.

African American earned 173,230 awards from two-year institutions. They accounted for 13.2 percent of all degrees awarded by two-year institutions.

During the 2016-17 academic year, African Americans earned 188,230 bachelor’s degrees. This was 9.6 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned that year. Blacks earned 10.2 percent of all master’s degrees awarded that year, 8 percent of all research doctorates and 6.5 percent of all professional practice doctorates.

The full report, Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2017-18; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2016-17; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2016-17: First Look (Provisional Data), may be downloaded here.


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