Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Race and the College Graduate

In a recent issue of USA Today there was a statistic indicating that more black Americans were getting degrees than every before.  In 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 21% of blacks 25 years or older had 4 years of college or more.  My immediate question was how does this compare to other ethnic groups.  By reporting only the numbers for one group, the newspaper paints an incomplete picture.  Is that a low number?  Don't all kids go to college after high school at this point?

Looking deeper into the same census shows that only 33.5% of all Americans aged 25 to 29 have earned at least a bachelor's degree. The college graduation rates across all racial groups have increased.  Socioeconomic status is the biggest indicator of whether or not someone will be successful in college.  If someone comes from a low income family they are less likely to graduate from high school, attend college and graduate from college.  More affluent states have significantly higher graduation rates than poorer states.  

The fact that only about a third of the population has a college degree is something we should care about as a country.  We are constantly hearing reports about how American children are not as smart those in other countries.  What is being done to bridge this gap?  That is the article I wanted to read.  I'm sick of hearing skewed statistics about minorities that reinforce the assumption that we are less educated than whites.  

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