UMN graduation rates for black students among worst in nation, study finds

A report from the Education Trust looked at the graduation gap between black students and white students across 676 universities.

A lone student treks across the pedestrian mall in subzero temperatures while school was closed Jan. 27.

Daily File Photo

A lone student treks across the pedestrian mall in subzero temperatures while school was closed Jan. 27.

Raju Chaduvula

While more African-American students are going to college, disparities still remain when it comes to graduation rates a report released Wednesday said.

The problem exists at the University of Minnesota as well. With a 23.8 percentage gap between the number of white and black students graduating in six years — the University comes in with the 79th highest disparity in the country.

The University was one of 676 public and private institutions reviewed by The Education Trust, an education advocacy group based in Washington D.C. that commissioned the report.

Among the eight schools studied in the state of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota had the highest disparity between black and white six year graduation rates.

The study also laid out what can be done to reduce the gap, including addressing inequalities within institutions and changing enrollment patterns.

“Far too often, institutional leaders attempt to justify low completion rates for Black students by highlighting what they perceive to be the inadequacies of the very students they choose to enroll,” the study said.

While some students may be better prepared for college, which can attribute to differences in graduation rates, the study said that the way institutions operate and what it does for students, matters.

“This is why we continue to encourage institutional leaders to learn from leading institutions, set clear improvement goals, mine their data to help identify problems and refine practices, and optimize the use of whatever resources they have,” the study said.