Most public colleges and universities across the nation are enrolling and graduating far fewer black students in comparison to the overall racial and ethnic demographics of the state in which they reside, according to a new report released by The Education Trust.
The Broken Mirrors: Black Student Representation at Public State Colleges and Universities report found that in 37 out of 41 examined states, black students were underrepresented at four-year public institutions. Furthermore, in roughly half of the 41 states, black student enrollment at community and technical colleges fails to mirror the state’s racial composition of black residents.
Among associate degree earners, black graduates were also found to be underrepresented in 33 of the 41 examined states.
“There is no justifiable reason for public colleges and universities to exclude Black students from entering college campuses or failing to support them so they fall out of college with loads of debt but no degree,” Andrew H. Nichols, the report’s lead author, said in a statement.
“States will not meet their education and workforce goals, or their economic growth targets, if they continue to exclude Black students from public higher education.”
Compared to their black peers, in three out of four states, white students were found to be enrolled at a higher rate at colleges with the most stringent admissions standards.
Finally, in approximately half of the 41 examined states, black students at four-year institutions were 15 percent less likely to attend a selective institution in comparison to white students.
“What our research shows is that even in the places where college enrollment looks relatively diverse, Black students are not receiving their fair share of college degrees, especially at the bachelor’s degree level,” Oliver Schak, co-author of the report, said.