The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

August 12, 2010
Studies reveal minority graduation gap at nation's colleges

The Education Trust just published two reports examining graduation rates of white, black and Hispanics students at U.S. colleges and universities. Overall an average of 57 percent of all students enrolled in a 4-year program earn a degree within six years. But only 40 percent of African Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics graduate -- compared to 60 percent of whites. This "graduation gap" varies widely from institution to institution. Some do well at keeping the gap small between white and blacks, whites and Latinos. Others not so much.

California universities are represented in lists of both the biggest and smallest white/minority gap schools. UC Riverside, for example, graduates 66.9 percent of black students compared to 62.4 percent white (a gap of -4.5). Similarly, UCR awards degrees to 63.4 percent of Hispanic students compared to 62.4 percent of whites (a gap of -1.0). CSU Chico, on the other hand, shows a large black-white gap of 26.7 (30.8 to 57.5 percent) and a Hispanic-white gap of 16.0 (41.5 to 57.5 percent).

Here's the breakdown for the two local universities. The figures are six-year graduation rates for 2008, the latest year available.

White Grad Rate 82.5 45.7
Black Grad Rate 73.1 29.5
Hispanic Grad Rate 73.5 36.2
All Students 81.4 41.5
Source: College Results Online

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