Alarming Statistics Tell the Story Behind America’s College Completion Crisis
America’s higher education problem is not a college enrollment problem. The percentage of students who head straight to college after high school has risen from 63 percent in 2000 to 70 percent in 2016, according to the Department of Education. What we have is a graduation problem, especially among low-income minority students: Just 11 percent of students from the lowest-income quartile earn bachelor’s degrees within six years (the commonly used indicator of college success), compared with 58 percent of students who come from the highest-income group, according to the Pell Institute.To get more news about 留服认证, you can visit jzjy001.com official website.
The National Center for Education Statistics tracked a 2002 cohort of U.S. students, finding that only 14.6 percent of those whose families are in the lowest-income quartile earned bachelor’s degrees within 10 years, compared with 46 percent from the highest-income group.
The astonishingly low college success rates alarm many liberal-leaning groups, such as the Education Trust, but also worry conservatives, who note that the problem is not limited to low-income students. Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, led a team that examined the dilemma. Writes Hess: “In 2016, more than 40 percent of all students who started at a four-year college six years earlier had not earned a degree … This means that nearly two million students who begin college each year will drop out before earning a diploma … There are more than 600 four-year colleges where less than a third of students will graduate within six years of arriving on campus.”
But the issue is most acute among blacks and Hispanics, where the college enrollment rates keep rising but the success rates — those who actually walk away with four-year degrees — are barely better than flat. They drop out before earning degrees. The overall college graduation figures reveal the imbalance. Just 14 percent of black adults and 11 percent of Hispanic adults hold bachelor’s degrees, compared with 24 percent of whites.
Overall, about a third of the students who enroll in college still haven’t earned a bachelor’s degree at the six-year mark, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. Not surprisingly, the dropout rates are higher for first-generation students. A third of first-generation students drop out of college at the three-year mark, compared with a quarter of students whose parents have degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Various government agencies and advocacy organizations have different ways of cutting and framing the data, so the rates are going to appear slightly different, depending on the report. But one thing never changes: the significant completion gaps by race and income.
Among Hispanics ages 25-34, just 17.8 percent have a bachelor’s degree, compared with 43.7 percent of young white adults.6 Roughly half of Hispanic students who start at four-year colleges as first-time, full-time students earn a bachelor’s degree from those institutions, a rate 10 percentage points below whites
For black students, the college success gaps are even starker. Forty-one percent who enrolled in four-year colleges as first-time, full-time students earned degrees there, which is 22 percentage points below white students. Especially troubling is the lack of intergenerational improvement among black adults. Only 30 percent of younger blacks, ages 25-34, have earned a degree, compared with 27 percent of older black adults, ages 55-64. Now compare that to whites, among whom young adults today earn college degrees at a rate 10 percentage points higher than older whites.