Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
February 26, 2000 - Issue 04

Educational Statistics
From Catherine Davids U-Michigan-Flint

There's good news and bad news in the February 9, 2000 17th Annual Education Status Report.

Information is based on 1996-1997 (the last year data was collected and analyzed) and comes from more than 1,800 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities and higher education-related associations, organizations, and corporations.

Between 1994-1995:
college enrollment for students of color rose 2.9%

Between 1996-1997:
college enrollment for students of color rose 3.7%

Of the students of color who enrolled in college:

65% of Asians graduated
40% of African Americans graduated
45% of Latino/a's graduated
36% of American Indians graduated
(a decrease from previous years)


High school completion rate for African Americans &
Latino/a's has increased over the past 20 years:

86% of African Americans graduated high school
(1977 rate was 45%)

62% of Latino/a's graduated high school
(1977 rate was 54%)

83% of Caucasians graduated high school
(1977 rate was 83% - the same)

Caucasians experienced the largest gain at college level. Since 1977, college participation rate for whites ages 18-24 has increased from 32% to 45%.

In 1997, 40% of African American high school graduates began college as compared to 31% in 1977.

In 1997, 36% of Latino/a high school graduates began
college as compared to 29% in 1990, 28% in 1980, and
31% in 1977.


In 1997, in the age 25-29 group:

  • 29% of Caucasians have a bachelors degree or higher.
  • 14% of African Americans have a bachelors degree or higher
  • 11% of Latino/a's have a bachelor's degree or higher

American Indians account for only 1% of all college
students. They have, however, experienced a 54% increase in college enrollment between 1988-1997. Between 1996-1997 American Indian college enrollment rose by 3.4% at the undergraduate level and by 5.4% at the graduate level.

Although American Indians earned only a fraction of the degrees awarded nationwide in 1997, they experienced a 10.5% increase from the previous year among all racial and ethnic groups. In 1997 American Indians earned 6.7% more associate degrees than in 1996, 6.4% more bachelor's degrees, and 8.2% more master's degrees.


Students of color, however, remain underrepresented at every degree level in 1996-1997:

African-Americans represented 11% of undergraduate students and earned 8% of all bachelor's degree.

Latino's represented 9% of undergraduate students but earned only 7.5% of associate degrees and 5.3% of bachelors degrees. Latino/a's made up 4.6% of graduate students but earned only 3.7% earned their masters degrees.

Asian Americans saw a 7.5% increase at the associate degree level, 5.6% at the bachelors level, 1.7% at masters degree

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