Despite efforts to increase diversity in schools, minorities and lower-income families still find themselves behind when it comes to getting a degree. Just how far behind are they?
Women Have Made The Most Progress
25% fewer men receive college degrees than women today.
That’s a big difference from 1975, when 17% fewer women graduated than men.
Difference in number of diplomas earned by women vs. men since 1982
But There’s Still A Long Way To Go …
Racial makeup of undergraduate population at four-year institutions:
American Indian or Alaskan Native 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 6%
Percentage of degree-holders:
All Americans 25 and older 28%
“Diverse student enrollment promotes understanding, helps to break down racial stereotypes, enables students to better understand people of different races and prepares all students to succeed in, and eventually lead, an increasingly diverse workforce and society.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Where will you find diversity?
Some of the most and least diverse universities (according to the U.S. News and World Report diversity index, in which the closer a school is to 1.0, the more diverse it is):
University Diversity index
Rutgers, New Jersey 0.77
Andrews University, Michigan 0.74
Stanford, California 0.74
St. John’s, New York 0.74
New Hampshire 0.15
Michigan Technological 0.13
North Dakota State 0.13
Florida A&M 0.10
Yeshiva University, New York 0.02
The Money Factor
School isn’t cheap. Current and former U.S. college students currently owe $1 trillion in student loan debt, with the average student walking away from his or her education with a debt of $35,200.
The total outstanding student loan debt of the U.S. is more than the GDP of more than 200 countries around the world, including: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Taiwan, Poland, Argentina and Sweden.
Average tuition and fees:
Public out-of-state $22,203
Public in-state $8,893
54% of students from wealthy families obtain a college degree
9% of students from low-income families obtain a college degree
What About Financial Aid?
Maximum amount of a Pell Grant, which helps low-income students pay for college
That’s about half the cost of a typical state university and a 10th of the cost of a prestigious private school.
Harvard offers students whose families make less than $40,000 a nearly free education. Despite the incentive, only 15 such students generally qualify in a class of 1,650. That’s less than 1%.
How much more a college degree holder will make over a 40-year career compared to a non-degree holder