Equal access, but less success

More students are starting — and completing — college, according to Replenishing Opportunity in America, an Education Trust report on its Access to Success Initiative. “Improvements are driven largely by African-American, Latino, American-Indian and low-income students.”

At community colleges, low-income and minority students are well represented.  At four-year institutions, the access gap for low-income freshmen has been cut in half, but there’s been little progress for black and Hispanic students.

When it comes to success, the report is not as positive.

Success rates at two-year colleges remain low, and gaps persist. Four-year institutions have made gains, improving graduation rates for all students. But success among low-income students and students of color has not yet moved fast enough to begin closing the completion gaps.

The gap in college attainment rates between white students and students of color is bigger now than it was in the 1970s, Ed Trust warns.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON May 7, 2012

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We can either have open access to higher ed (a good and useful thing) OR we can have equal outcomes for different economic and social groups (a good thing in theory but not attainable or at least not without changing the nature of higher ed). It makes far more sense to work hard to create robust educational experiences of all kinds, for all students starting very early, than to obsess over identical outcomes. Actually, it’s even harmful for students to try to make each one’s outcome the same.

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