Posted on July 19, 2022

Racial Parity in US Colleges Is 70 Years Away, McKinsey Says

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, July 18, 2022

It will take almost a lifetime — or seven decades — for US colleges and universities to achieve racial parity among its freshman classes, according to analysis by McKinsey & Co.

The study, which analyzed data from more than 3,000 institutions with enrollment of about 2.4 million first-time students, found that nearly all the improvement in representation in the seven years to 2020 came from Hispanic and Latino students. If their rate of enrollment slows to match the pace of other minority students — with enrollment among Black and Native American students declining in some cases — parity will never occur, according to Duwain Pinder, one of the McKinsey researchers.


It’s even worse for faculty — parity with the portion of the population with a bachelor’s degree is projected to be 300 years away, the McKinsey study showed. When compared with the broader population, parity is unlikely to be achieved until 1,000 years from now, according to the analysis.

The slow progress toward population parity among college students and faculty bodes ill for corporate America, where representation in leadership will ultimately draw from graduates of higher education. {snip}


Even when schools are able to attract a student body that’s as diverse as their communities, the graduation rate still trails that of the overall population. That suggests students of color are also disproportionately less likely to get a degree even when fully represented, the study found.