EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — October 25, 2017

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Six-year graduation rates of degree-seeking students at four-year institutions, by gender and race/ethnicity (cohort year 2008)


According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and analyzed by researchers at RTI, 59.6 percent of full-time, first-time, degree-seeking students who began their studies in 2008 at a Title IV institution in the United States graduated with a bachelor's degree within six years. The graphic below illustrates two important points. The first is that the completion rates of historically-underrepresented students in our colleges and universities graduate at much lower rates than White and Asian students. Comparatively, 71.2 percent of Asians and 63.2 of White students earned a BA within six years, while 53.5 percent of Hispanic students, 50 percent of native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, 41 percent of American Indian/Alaskan Natives, and 40.9 percent of Black students earned a BA within that time period. The gap between White and Black students is about 22 percent.

The graphic also depicts completion by gender. In every category, women outpace men in graduation rates by between 0.2 and 9.5 percent. The largest gender gaps exists within the Hispanic and Black groups, and the lowest being within Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015181.pdf

NOTE: Students are attending a Title IV institution and started as full-time, first-time students.