Too Few Latinos, Blacks at Top Public Universities: Report

Noel Gutierrez-Morfin, NBC News, October 13, 2016

There may be more Latinos and Blacks attending college, but very few are attending the top institutions with the most resources and best outcomes for graduation and post-college success.

A new report released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) found only 12 percent of Latino and 9 percent of black students attended four-year elite public universities. By contrast, 56 percent of Latinos and 51 percent of Blacks attended community colleges.

A third of Latinos, and 40% of Black students, attend four-year regional colleges.

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While some students attending community colleges obtain Associate’s degrees on time or move on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, many are less likely to graduate within 4 years.

This is problematic, since only 16 percent of Latino and 21 percent of Black young adults have Bachelor’s degrees, compared to 41 percent for whites and 63 percent for Asians.

“When blacks and Latinos are excluded from top colleges, the U.S. higher education system cannot serve as an engine for social mobility,” the report states.

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The authors say states and universities have to devise pathways to make it easier for more students of color to attend these institutions.

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