Although blacks and Hispanics are attending college in increasing numbers, they are less likely to stay in school and graduate than white students, the American Council on Education reports.
The ACE's 12th annual Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education, released today, found that blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and American Indians all experienced enrollment gains from 1991 to 1992, while the number of white students declined.
"College attrition rates continue to be high for all students," the report said. But it found them most pronounced for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians. "Yet when differences in academic preparation and socioeconomic status are controlled, the retention rates of students in these groups are equal to those of white students."
Among college students, the report found that only 41 percent of Hispanics, 32 percent of blacks and 30 percent of American Indians earn a bachelor's degree within six years. The graduation rates for Asian Americans and whites are 63 percent and 56 percent, respectively.
ACE found that women of all ethnic and racial groups were more likely to graduate from college than men and that those students attending an independent college had higher graduation rates than those at public institutions.
Among the report's other findings:
In 1992, 33.8 percent of black, 37.1 percent of Hispanic and 42.2 percent of white high school graduates 18 to 24 were in college.
The number of white students in colleges and universities dropped 1.1 percent from 1991 to 1992.
Black enrollment in institutions of higher education rose 4.3 percent during the same period and 26.5 percent from 1982 to 1992. The increases were attributed to black women. In 1992, only 29.7 percent of black male high school graduates were in college, a drop of nearly 5 percentage points in two years.
Hispanic enrollment jumped 83.8 percent over the 10-year period, including a 10 percent increase from 1991 to 1992.
Total enrollment by Asian-American students nearly doubled over the 10 years, including a 9.4 percent gain from 1991 to 1992.
Despite a small enrollment increase, American Indians represent less than 1 percent of all students on college campuses.