More Minorities Expected to Earn College Degrees

By Catherine Groux
Posted January 17, 2013 01:00 PM

Colleges are expecting to receive a surge of minority students in the future.
Colleges are expecting to receive a surge of minority students in the future.

In recent years, minorities have lagged behind their Caucasian peers when it comes to obtaining a postsecondary degree. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in 2008, about 33% of Caucasians earned a degree, compared to only 13% of Hispanic adults and 20% of African Americans.

While this has been a trend for many years, a recent report by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education shows that the pattern of low minority degree attainment may soon come to an end.

The report indicates that by 2020, about 45% of the nation's high school graduates will be minorities, making an increase of 7 percentage points from 2009. In fact, the growth of certain ethnic groups in select states will be so profound that it could cause them to become majorities instead of minorities. For example, the report says that in states like Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Maryland, the majority of public high school graduates will be non-Caucasian students by 2019-2020.

With this surge of minority high school graduates, experts predict there will also be a vast increase in the number of non-Caucasian students enrolling in college. According to a new report by the NCES, the number of Caucasian students attending college is expected to rise by a meager 4% through 2021. At the same time, the number of African American students enrolling in college is predicted to grow by 25%, while Hispanic enrollment could rise by 42%.

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