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Higher College Graduation Rates, But Not For Minority Students

Rise in Student Graduation Rates Not Necessarily Good News for Low Income and Minority Students

A recent study showed that, although college graduation rates have increased over the last 10 years, the increase does not necessarily include poor students or students of color. Rather, it has resulted in a wider gap between white students and minority students.

The report was recently released by the Education Trust, a non-profit organization that is an advocate for high academic achievement among all students but particularly low-income and students of color. The study identified 17 colleges where graduation rates for students of color actually declined. In addition, the completion gap between white and minority students over the past 10 years has narrowed by less than 1 percentage point.

Gaps widening at many schools

The study compared the graduation rates among African-American, as well as Latino and Native students. While the gap between minorities and whites is smaller than the gap between whites and black students, in some four-year colleges and universities, the gap is actually getting larger. These institutions include The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Texas A&M Commerce, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Auburn University at Montgomery, University of Central Arkansas, Auburn University, Weber University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Alabama, Huntsville, and Kutztown University, Pennsylvania.

What needs to happen

Data analysts for the study outlined several steps that need to be taken in order to narrow the gap in graduation rates between white students and low-income minorities and blacks. Their recommendations included:
  • More financial aid that covers all years until graduation
  • Providing additional tutoring when needed
  • Working more with students one-on-one
  • Increasing diversity on campus

Read more at www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/12/02/study-shows-rise-graduation-rates-doesnt-always-benefit-minorities

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