African Americans enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at four-year institutions graduate at the lowest rate compared to any other racial and ethnic group, according to new data from the U.S, Department of Education.

group of multicultural university graduates

group of multicultural university graduates

The study, “Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2006-2011; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2013-2014; and Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2014,” looked at the graduation rates of students who entered college in 2008 and completed their degrees within six years. The graduation rate for all students in four-year bachelor’s degree programs was nearly 60 percent, while the graduation rate for African Americans was just under 41 percent.

The graduation rate for Black students was 40.9 percent, 12.6 percentage points behind Hispanics and 22.3 percent lower than Whites. Asians had the highest graduation rate at 71.2 percent.

The study also looked at the graduation rates between men and women, and found that women overall graduated at higher rates than men. For African Americans, nearly 44.8 percent of women completed bachelor’s degree programs within six years, while only 35.3 percent of men did.

The report also looked at the graduation rates for students who entered two-year colleges and graduated within three years. Among students who entered two-year colleges in 2011 the overall graduation rate was 30.7 percent, while the rate for Blacks was 22.9 percent. Black women graduated at a higher rate than men, with 25.1 percent of Black women receiving their associate’s degree within three years, while only 19.8 percent of Black men earned associate degrees during that same time period.
jhunter@afro.com