Study Finds Uptick In Minority College Enrollment

August 7, 2013  |  

As there is an increased demand for job candidates with four-year degrees, Black enrollment in college has risen. Between 2009 and 2011, African-American college attendance increased by 8.5 percent, reports Business Administration Information.

Even to become a file clerk, a comparatively low-skill job, a bachelor’s degree is required. With piles of job applications towering over their desks, employers need to weed out the candidates somehow, which leads to “up-credentialing.”  Theorists speculate this may have caused not only African Americans, but all students, to attend college at higher rates, reports a study conducted by The Education Trust.

During the same time frame, White enrollment increased 2.7 percent while Hispanic enrollment rose 22 percent. “Over the past three years, the number of black and Latino undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges grew faster than the enrollment of white students,” the study stated.

The racial gap between college attendants, Business Administration Information adds, is beginning to close. However, while the statistics show that university enrollment has improved, the study notes that African-American graduation rates have fallen. Black graduates “are still more than 2 percent less than they were in 2006,” Business explained.

On a more local level, some universities have managed to extinguish the gap. For instance, African-American students at University of North Carolina-Greensboro have graduated at an equal or higher rate as white students since 2002. Hispanic students at Stony Brook University in New York are graduating at a higher rate than their White counterparts and minority graduation rates are rising in Northeastern University.

“If more colleges act on lessons from their faster gaining peers—such as UNC-Greensboro, Stony Brook, and Northeastern—far more will be successful in improving graduation rates for all students,” the study concluded.

While the fact that a BA is needed to keep office files in order is questionable, the upside to the argument is that we can speculate that more students are pursuing degrees to meet the minimum requirement of employment.

The report, titled “Successful: Improving Minority Student College Graduation Rates” used information pulled from the U.S. Department of Education.

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