Minorities in College: They’re Around but Not Doing so Well

Years and years of Affirmative Action have made colleges more diverse, but they’re still not all that good at educating ethnic minorities. According to an Associated Press article by Eric Gorski in Diverse Issues in Higher Education:

A biannual report card on minority educational attainment by the American Council on Education (ACE)… pays special attention to the nation’s estimated 47 million Hispanics, including what it describes as an overlooked population in education policy Hispanic immigrant adults. Hispanics made the largest gains and narrowed gaps with Whites and Blacks on high school completion from 1988 to 2008. Report author Mikyung Ryu called it “impressive progress.” Yet Hispanics still have the lowest high school completion rates of any group, at 70 percent.

Between 1997 and 2007, total minority enrollment on U.S. campuses grew 52 percent to 5.4 million, while the number of White students grew 12 percent, to 10.8 million. Minorities accounted for 30 percent of the college student population, up from 25 percent.

But while minorities make up more and more of the proportion of college students, they’re not going to, and graduating from, colleges in great numbers. In fact, less than 30 percent of traditional college-age Hispanics are in college now.

Despite some movement in the demographics of groups that make up college students, overall there’s been little movement in educational achievement in the last several decades. “Postsecondary educational achievement has flat-lined,” according to the article. Young people today have about the same college degree attainment rates as their parents’ generation.

Read information about the ACE report here.

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