College Enrollment Research Shows Minority Underrepresentation at Elite Schools

by | Aug 6, 2013


A new study, Separate and Unequal, was recently published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). As the rate of minority students pursuing education beyond high school is increasing, this new study highlights some concerns related to the disproportionality of whites attending the most elite colleges. The authors find that white overrepresentation in the nation’s most elite and competitive colleges is increasing, even as the white share of college-age students has declined. Access to the most selective colleges and their higher degree completion rates is especially important to minorities, in part because attaining a bachelor’s degree is an important threshold for racial equality in education and earnings. The following infographic from the study illustrates how these pathways differ:

Separate and Unequal Infographic

According to the study, these pathways are not only separate but they bring unequal results:

  • African-Americans and Hispanics who attend one of the top 468 colleges graduate at a rate of 73% compared with a rate of 40% for equally qualified minorities who attend open access colleges.
  • African-Americans and Hispanics gain a 21% annual earnings advantage when they attend the more selective schools compared to a 15 percent annual earnings premium for whites who attend the same colleges.
  • More than 240,000 high school students every year, who graduate in the top half of their high school class and come from the bottom half of the family income distribution, do not get a two or four-year degree within eight years of graduation from high school.
  • The selective colleges spend anywhere from two to almost five times as much on instruction per student as the open-access colleges.
  • Among students who score in the top half of test score distribution in the nation’s high schools and attend college, 51% of white students get a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 34% of African-American students and 32% of Hispanic students.

For the entire report, click here. Interested in how the latest research can help guide the provision of services for your organization and bring forth the best outcomes? Follow Transform Consulting Group on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or contact Transform today for a free consultation!




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