The high school graduation rate for blacks in Dallas is about 50 percent lower than for whites, according to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics.
A few of the top-ranked community colleges in the nation also perform worse for blacks than whites, including DePaul University, Mount St. Mary’s University, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.
“The fact that students at the top two-thirds of these community colleges graduate at rates that are so much higher than the general population should be a sign that they are doing well,” says Michelle Richardson, a professor of education at Texas A &M and the author of the report, “College Deserves Better: Black Graduation Rates and the Path to Success in Higher Education.”
Richardson, who specializes in racial equity in higher education, says the data also shows that black students are more likely to drop out than whites.
“That is a problem for all students, but particularly for black students,” she says.
“The fact is that African-American students, at the beginning of their careers, often don’t have the same access to resources and resources are often not available to students of color.”
The NCEES study also found that the percentage of students with low GPAs, or GPA’s that fall below 3.5, was a more accurate predictor of college attendance than the percentage that is more than 3.0.
That’s because students who graduate high in the top quartile of their school’s GPA class have the lowest likelihood of attending college.
“It’s really telling that a lot of these schools are doing a poor job,” Richardson says.
For blacks who graduate with high GPAs and high school diplomas, the report found that “the likelihood of graduating at a four-year college is nearly identical for blacks and whites.”
The median household income for a black family is about $28,500.
That means a family of four has a median household earning of about $35,000.
The data from the NCEERS report is part of a broader report by the University of Maryland that looked at student outcomes and college attendance at four- and five-year colleges across the nation.
“The report is an important step forward, but it’s not the final word,” Richardson adds.
In addition to Richardson, the study authors included professors from Rutgers University, the University at Buffalo, the College of William and Mary, the George Washington University, Rutgers, and St. Andrews University.”
These are the kinds of investments that will make a difference for the future of students, their families, and the communities in which they live.”
In addition to Richardson, the study authors included professors from Rutgers University, the University at Buffalo, the College of William and Mary, the George Washington University, Rutgers, and St. Andrews University.