More Diversity, Lower Completion

Changing racial demographics may require colleges to tackle new issues. According to an article by Joyce Jones in Diverse Issues in Higher Education:

While discussing the enormous demographic shift that the country is experiencing, people often refer to the year 2042 when the U.S. will be a majority-minority country. In essence, much of that change is already here.

“We have an enormous problem. College going and college graduation gaps between Whites and kids of color are bigger than they’ve ever been when the premium on getting a degree is higher than it’s ever been,” [said Amy Wilkins, vice president of government affairs and communications at the Education Trust], adding that there must be greater focus on getting minority students to and through college.

The problem goes something like this: black and Hispanic children in the U.S. underperform white and Asian students. But when black and Hispanic students constitute the majority of those seeking entrance to higher education, their low performance could mean trouble for the system as a whole.

Well good luck with that one. While increasing funding for colleges based on higher graduation rates is gaining popularity in some states, the policy, even if entirely successful, won’t actually prepare minority students for success in college.

Wilkins made her comments last week during a National Journal conference on demographics.

Currently 65 percent of the population is white. Only 45 percent of the population under 18 is white, however.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer