National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Releases Report by Race and Ethnicity Showing Large Gaps in College Completion Rates
Work Needed to Improve Minority Students’ Postsecondary Outcomes
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released a new report, Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates by Race and Ethnicity – Fall 2010 Cohort. This report is the first use by the Research Center of a new nationally representative sample of students, enabling the national results released in December, 2016 to be disaggregated by race and ethnicity. These results will be updated annually.
Nationally, 54.8 percent of students who started in any type of college or university in fall 2010 completed a degree or certificate within six years. When examined by race and ethnicity, Asian and white students had a much higher completion rate (63.2 percent and 62.0 percent, respectively) than Hispanic and black students (45.8 percent and 38.0 percent, respectively). These rates include students who graduated after a transfer and also count both full-time and part-time students, attending both two-year and four-year institutions.
“These data show that even with recent institutional improvements, counting students who transfer does not narrow the graduation rate gaps,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director, National Student Clearinghouse. “This means that there is much work to be done to improve the postsecondary outcomes of underrepresented minority students, regardless of whether they are native to the institution, transferring in, or transferring out.”
This new report is a supplement to the national report, released in December 2016, which provides six-year completion rates disaggregated by race and ethnicity for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2010. The fall 2010 cohort was also the focus of a state-level report, released in March 2017.
Unlike the previous reports, which relied on the full national student population from the National Student Clearinghouse data, this supplement is limited to a representative sample of schools selected specifically for race and ethnicity analyses. The Research Center worked with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago to create the sample.
“These data show that even with recent institutional improvements, counting students who transfer does not narrow the graduation rate gaps. This means that there is much work to be done to improve the postsecondary outcomes of underrepresented minority students, regardless of whether they are native to the institution, transferring in, or transferring out.”
Executive Research Director, National Student Clearinghouse