Race and the Completion of College

College completion rates vary widely among racial lines, with African American and Latino students earning credentials at a much lower rate than white and Asian students do. The report that evaluated the data from students nationwide who enrolled in colleges and universities in the 2010’s represented students who attended 2 or 4 year colleges, students who attended school full and part time and those who held jobs. Altogether, 54.8% of those students completed a degree or certificate within 6 years of entering a post secondary institution, but broken down by race and ethnicity, those rates rose about 25%.

Students who started at community colleges and the continued their educations at four-year institutions experienced very different outcomes, depending on race and ethnicity. After 6 years about a quarter of Asian students and a fifth of white students had finished their degrees, compared to about a tenth of Hispanic students and one in 12 black students. For years colleges and universities had had been asking for racial and ethnic breakdowns of completion rates. After releasing those results for the first time every year after the 2010’s (mostly 2010), the trend has very much changed a lot.

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