RACE AND ETHNICITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Welcome! Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education provides a data-informed foundation for those working to close persistent equity gaps by providing a glimpse into the educational pathways of today’s college students and the educators who serve them.

Explore the Findings

This project examines data 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. See the 2019 report Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report, the 2020 Supplement and the new Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2024 Status Report. Download Reports >

Featured Content

Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2024 Status Report

This 2024 report follows Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report (2019) and Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2020 Supplement. The 2024 Status Report examines over 200 indicators to determine who accesses a variety of educational environments and experiences, to explore how student trajectories and outcomes differ by race and ethnicity, and to provide an overview of the racial and ethnic backgrounds of faculty, staff, and college presidents. This report comprises eight chapters: 1) U.S. population trend and education attainment, 2) enrollment in undergraduate education, 3) enrollment in graduate education, 4) undergraduate completion, 5) graduate school completion, 6) how students finance undergraduate education, 7) how students finance graduate education, and 8) postsecondary faculty and staff. 

Featured Data

Black or African American students had lower completion rates and higher levels of educational debt than their peers from other racial and ethnic groups.

Regardless of the institution type at which they began, Black or African American students had the lowest six-year completion rates of any group. For example, among students who began at R1 doctoral institutions in fall 2011, the shares of those who had earned a bachelor’s degree six years later ranged from 69.2 percent of Black or African American students to 86.5 percent of Asian and 90.9 percent of international students (see tables 4.1 through 4.6). Also, Black or African American students borrowed at a higher rate and incurred a larger amount of debt for their postsecondary education than other groups. Among 2019-20 associate degree recipients, 57.2 percent of Black or African American recipients borrowed an average of $21,750, while 35.8 percent of all recipients borrowed an average of $17,252 (see Table 6.14). Among 2019–20 bachelor’s degree recipients, 86.4 percent of Black or African American recipients borrowed an average of $33,807, while 60.5 percent of all recipients borrowed an average of $29,743 (see Table 6.21). Among 2019-20 master’s degree recipients, 77.5 percent of Black or African American recipients borrowed an average of $53,127, while 53.4 percent of all recipients borrowed an average of $47,906 (see table 7.7). Lastly, among 2019-20 research doctoral degree recipients, 60.5 percent of Black or African American recipients borrowed an average of $103,085, while 30.1 percent of all recipients borrowed an average of $63,557 (see table 7.17).

69.2%

of Black students earned
bachelor’s degrees in
six years at R1
doctoral institutions

86.4%

of Black bachelor’s degree
recipients borrowed

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