Study suggests elite schools must enroll more black students to close achievement gap
- A new study produced by the Education Trust shows a 20% gap in the number of black college students who earn degrees in comparison to white students over a six-year period, but averages produced by individual institutions are much lower than the national composite.
- The research suggests that institutions with higher admissions selectivity enroll 25% of first-time, first-year black students, while enrolling 40% of white students in the same category.
- Researchers say that even minimal institutional changes would create dramatic shifts in the completion rates. “Eliminating institutional gaps at each campus in our sample would produce an additional 11,992 black graduates, and would reduce the national gap in black and white completion from 19.3 percentage points to 6.6 percentage points," according to the report.
While this research analyzes performance based upon federally-provided data on completion rates and access, it presents problems in the sense that it does not report data on financial wherewithal of black students to persist through college, shifts in federal student aid over the assessed period, and the mission of open-access institutions to predominantly enroll students from under-resourced community and low-performing secondary districts.
Using these reports can more effectively the urgency for colleges of all types to make the ask for additional resources in remedial preparation and competency-based education models, and for additional support in merit and need-based scholarships for at-risk students.
- Inside Higher Ed Closing the gap