A report published in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reveals statistics on the black graduation rate of many universities in America. The national average is 42%. VCU ties the national average. A look at the rates of other Virginia colleges:
UVA 86 %
U of R 83%
W & L 76%
George Mason 60%
Norfolk St. 27%
The University of the District of Colombia makes headlines in the report with a 7% black graduation rate.
These statistics aren’t an absolute observation on the performance of these institutions, but they do provide some insight into the numbers that represent the gap of graduation rates of black and white students. The national average for white students is 62%. VCU’s white graduation rate is 45%.
So what factors into this disparity?
“It’s really an intricate problem having to do with economics, which is intricately connected to race, which impacts education and opportunity,” said Shawn Utsey, VCU Chair of African American Studies Department.
The study includes numbers from the U.S. Department of Education that shows that some of the higher ranking institutions in the study have significantly fewer black students. Nearly three quarters of all black college students in America attend the universities which fall with the 20th to 60th percentile of graduation rates.