Report Finds Modest Increase in Minority Enrollment, Graduation Rates

Article excerpt

The number of students of color enrolling and graduating from the nation's colleges and universities continues to increase modestly, but the rate of increase is beginningto slow, according to the 2000-01 Annual Status Report on Minorities in HigherEducation, released earlierthis month by the American Council on Education (ACE).

Made possible by a grant from the GE Fund, the report contains an ACE analysis of the latest education data from the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other sources.

According to the report, postsecondary enrollment of students of color rose by 3.2 percent between 1997 and 1998 (the last year for which data is available) - continuing a trend of modest increases that began in the early 1990s. However, the latest national statistics indicate a slowdown in the rate of enrollment by students of color. The latest number is slightly down from the 3.7 percent increase recorded between 1997 and 1996. The rate of increase in enrollment had climbed steadily over the previous three years, from 2.3 percent in the 1993-94 academic year to 2.9 percent in 199495, and to 3.2 percent in 1995-96.

The report also shows that students of color have experienced gains in academic degree attainment. In 1998, students of color experienced combined increases of 2.5 percent in the number of associate degrees they earned, 5.3 percent at the bachelor's degree level, 8.8 percent at the master's degree level, 4.4 percent at the doctoral level, and 5.8 percent at the first-professional degree. …