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 Report's Findings

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 >

Featured Content

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.

Featured Data

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.

36.5%

of Black students who started
at a public four-year institution
dropped out within 6 years

86.4%

of Black bachelor’s degree
recipients who borrowed
owed an average of $34,010

View the Data Sources

This report utilizes data from 11 principal sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, and non-federal organizations.

Learn More About the Report

This report examines over 200 indicators, looking at who gains access to a host of educational environments and experiences, and how trajectories differ, by race and ethnicity.

ACE Unveils 'Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report'

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.