This report examines data across 11 chapters that provide a foundation from which the higher education community and its many stakeholders can draw insights, raise new questions, and make the case for why race and ethnicity still matter in American higher education. Download the Report >
Explore the Report's Findings
Essays Illuminate Complexities around Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education
The data presented in Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report provides a comprehensive review of race and ethnicity in higher education. The report also includes four invited scholarly essays which explore key issues in higher education beyond what the data alone can show. In their essay, Walter Allen, Chantal Jones, and Channel McLewis provide insight into the problematic nature of racial and ethnic categories in higher education. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar and Regina Deil-Amen examine the role of community colleges in serving students of color. Sandy Baum unpacks the unique circumstances of student debt for African Americans. Kimberly Griffin explores the efforts that institutions can undertake to affect faculty diversity. Building upon the data presented in this report, these essays give further insight into race and ethnicity in higher education.
Too Many Black Students Fare Poorly in America’s Postsecondary Education System
In 2016, Black students accounted for a larger share of secondary school completers, undergraduate and graduate students, and graduate completers than 20 years prior. Yet these gains are overshadowed by outcomes that illustrate lost opportunity for Black students, families, and communities, and our nation. Black students who started college in fall 2011 had the lowest completion rates and highest dropout rates across all sectors. Over one-third of Black students who started at a public four-year institution left without completing within six years, compared with 24.2 percent of all students. Of those who completed, Black undergraduates were more likely to graduate with the greatest student loan debt. The 86.4 percent of Black 2016 bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed owed an average of $34,010, compared with 68.9 percent of all bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed an average of $29,669.
of Black students who started
at a public four-year institution
dropped out within 6 years
of Black bachelor’s degree
recipients who borrowed
owed an average of $34,010
Lorelle Espinosa, ACE vice president of research, and Jonathan Turk, ACE associate director of research, explain why ACE’s report on the state of race and ethnicity in higher education today is critical for those working to close persistent equity gaps – and make the case for why race still matters in American higher education.