Racial/Ethnic Differences in College Graduation among Academically Promising Students

Anne K. Driscoll, University of California, Davis

Racial/ethnic gaps in educational attainment continue even among academically capable students. This study explores reasons for racial/ethnic differences in college completion rates among academically promising students who first attended two-year schools and those who first enrolled in four-year schools. Racial/ethnic patterns of graduation differ by type of first post-secondary institution. Overall, greater differences were found among those who initially enrolled in four-year schools. Higher graduation rates of Asian and white males are primarily due to their better academic preparation and performance compared to African Americans and Mexicans, even among the most academically promising students. Among females, both family SES and academic performance account for racial/ethnic differences. These results suggest that the potential of many academically able minority students is not being adequately supported.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture