Washington UPDATE: ED Finds High School, College Gains for African Americans

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Washington UPDATE: ED Finds High School, College Gains for African. Americans

The number of African Americans completing high school and one or more years of college reached new highs in 1994, according to new data just released by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Eighty-four percent of African Americans ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma in 1994, an increase of three percentage points since 1992 and a jump of more than 20 percentage points since the early 1970s. The number of African Americans with one or more years of college stood at 49.6 percent in 1994, the fifth consecutive increase and a jump of 19 percentage points since the early 1970s.

Overall, the number of high school graduates ages 29 to 29 has remained at about 80 percent since the 1970s and at 86 percent since 1992, the data show. The gap between whites and African Americans declined during this period, however, from 23 points in 1971 to only seven percentage points in 1994, ED said.

Hispanics recorded more gains at the college than the high school level in 1994, ED reported. About 60 percent of Hispanics ages 29 to 29 had a high school diploma last year, a rate essentially unchanged since 1981. However, the number of Hispanics with at least one year of college was 50 percent last year, an increase of nearly five percentage points since 1992.

Other data just published by the department show 16.2 percent of African Americans ages 25 to 29 finished four or more years of college in 1994. …