Minority students complete college at higher rates than thought

A study by the American Council on Education and the Center for Policy Research and Strategy shows that the completion rates for minority students in the US are significantly higher than federal statistics suggest.

A study by the American Council on Education and the Center for Policy Research and Strategy shows that college completion rates for minority students in the United States are significantly higher than the federal statistics suggest.

The analysis “Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions” examined data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), a non-profit that collects data annually regarding student enrollment and completion.

The difference on data of this new study and the federal data is that the NSC follows throughout students’ educational journeys, including when they change institutions.

However, federal MSI recognition requires institutions to have low expenditures, limiting their resources to serve students.  For that reason, most MSI depend on federal, state, and local sources of revenue.

The study compares NSC with federal data and provides the following key findings:

  • NSC data for public four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): 43 percent total completion rate; 62 percent for full-time students. Federal graduation rate: 34.1 percent.
  • NSC data for exclusively full-time students at private four-year HBCUs: 66.7 percent completion rate. Federal graduation rate: 43.9 percent.
  • NSC data for exclusively full-time students at public four-year Predominantly Black Institutions: 52 percent completion rate. Federal graduation rate: 16.6 percent.
  • NSC data for exclusively full-time students at public two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): 40.3 percent completion rate. Federal graduation rate: 25.5 percent.
  • NSC data for public four-year HSIs: 50 percent completion rate; 74.1 percent for exclusively full-time students. Federal graduation rate: 42.7 percent.
  • NSC data for exclusively full-time students at public four-year Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions: 88 percent completion rate. Federal graduation rate: 66.2 percent.