University racial inequality grows

imgresThe nation’s system of higher education is growing more racially polarized even as it attracts more minorities:
White students increasingly are clustering at selective institutions, while blacks and Hispanics mostly are attending open-access and community colleges, according to a new report discussed in the Washington Pos. “The paths offer widely disparate opportunities and are leading to widely disparate outcomes, said the report released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

 “Students at the nation’s top 468 colleges are the beneficiaries of much more spending — anywhere from two to five times as much as what is spent on instruction at community colleges or other schools without admissions requirements. And students at top schools are far more likely to graduate than students at other institutions, even when they are equally prepared, according to the report. In addition, graduates of top schools are far more likely than others to go on to graduate school.

“The financial implications of those differences are huge: A worker with an advanced degree is expected to earn as much as $2.1 million more in his or her lifetime than a college dropout, the report said. Also, the report said graduates of selective colleges earn an average of $67,000 a year 10 years after graduation, about $18,000 a year more than their counterparts who graduate from non-selective schools.“The American postsecondary system increasingly has become a dual system of racially separate pathways, even as overall minority access to the postsecondary system has grown dramatically,” said Jeff Strohl, the Georgetown center’s director of research, who co-authored the report.“The report focused on a comparison of whites with Hispanic and African American students. Data on the experiences of Asian American and Native American students were too limited for an identical analysis, the authors said.”The report raises disturbing questions about the efficacy of higher-education policies pursued by a long line of presidents aiming to encourage more Americans to attend college. President Obama has talked about improved access to higher education as a means of combating the nation’s growing income inequality. But the Georgetown report illustrates that higher education is doing more to replicate inequality than to eliminate it.”More at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/minorities-and-whites-follow-unequal-college-paths-report-says/2013/07/31/61c18f08-f9f3-11e2-8752-b41d7ed1f685_story.html

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