Those who are racial minority, especially Hispanics, are far more likely to earn a college degree than are whites. But, as the article points out, the racial gap does not appear to be independent of social background.
Hispanics’ college enrollment rate outpaces that of whites
During the last decade, Hispanics’ college enrollment rate has outpaced that of whites. Hispanics make up 19 percent of all college students ages 18 to 24. Whites make up 55 percent of those same students. However, when it comes to obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the share of whites is far higher than the share of Latinos.
According to a recent Pew Hispanic Center report, Hispanics have made big gains in college enrollment. Over the past decade, college enrollment among Hispanics has increased by 86 percent. However, the Pew report did not address why Latinos have increased their enrollment so much. Instead, the study attributed the increase to the recession and the rise in focus on college for younger Latino kids.
Juan Francisco Lara, a professor at UCLA, said that he has not been able to figure out why Latinos have been able to complete their degrees faster. However, he said that there were disparities among various groups that needed to be addressed. He added that a recession could have been one of the reasons why young Latinos waited to enter the job market.
The percentage of Hispanics ages 18 to 24 enrolled in college increased by 324,000 students between 2011 and 2012. The share of those enrolled has increased by 20 percentage points since 2000. The growth of Hispanic college enrollment is a major demographic story, especially when it comes to racial inequities.
While Latinos have increased their college enrollment rate, they are still behind whites and blacks when it comes to completing a college degree. Among whites, 67 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college immediately. However, only 37 percent of blacks did the same.
The number of public high school graduates also increased, though by less than half. Blacks and Hispanics made up 13% of college-aged students in 2012. Hispanics and blacks were able to beat the whites in four-year colleges, while whites attended 72 percent of four-year colleges.
The number of Latino high school graduates who entered college in 2012 surpassed that of whites and blacks. Among these graduates, 69 percent of Latinos went on to college.
The income gap is larger than the racial gap
Despite the economic progress that has taken place over the last several decades, there is a persistent gap in the income and wealth levels between Blacks and Whites. This gap reflects the disparity in assets, debt, and savings between the two groups. It is larger than the wage gap and the educational gap.
In 2016, the median wealth of a white household was $171,000, while that of a black household was $17,000. That means that a white family has eight times the wealth of a black family. The gap between black and white wealth has been increasing in recent years. It is likely that this gap will persist for a long time.
There are many reasons for the persistent wealth gap. Government policies, societal discrimination, and the housing market are among the factors that contribute to the gap. However, education has been considered a key factor in closing the gap. In 2016, 37% of whites had a bachelor’s degree, compared to 21% of Black and Latino Americans. Despite this, Black and Latino students still lag behind white and Asian students when it comes to enrolling in college.
Even with the recent increase in college enrollment, the gap between white and Black students has not diminished. In 2000, the enrollment rate for Black students was only slightly higher than that of whites and Asian Americans. However, the rate has increased since then.
While higher education is often considered a great equalizer, it is not enough to close the wealth gap. Increasingly, blacks and Latinos are disproportionately majoring in fields with lower potential earnings.
Moreover, blacks and Latinos are also less likely to own private business interests. The federal tax code prioritizes certain assets over other savings. The resulting discrepancy between outstanding debt and debt payments is a major factor in the gap. In 2016, blacks owed money on mortgages and installment loans at rates that are more than $18,000. In addition, blacks are less likely to have a home equity line of credit. These differences are real and have an impact on families.
The gap between black and white wealth has been widening over the past 30 years. Even in the best case scenario, a black household had less than one-sixth the wealth of a white household in 1998.
The influence of early adult and college-specific variables
Across the world, a growing proportion of young people is gaining post-secondary education. In some non-industrialized nations, this trend has been gaining strength in recent decades. It is not uncommon for a young person to begin marriage and parenthood relatively early, or to move out of the parents’ home.
For many, this transition marks a transition to a better labor market position. In this context, college attendance short of a credential may function as a stepping stone to a better position. College enrollment benefits all student subgroups. Compared to non-college goers, those with some college experience have a 20.1 percentage point boost in employment.
The largest earnings boost is seen among those attending a 2-year college short of a credential. However, those attending a 4-year college short of a credential receive only a modest increase in earnings. The earnings benefit from attending college is larger among economically disadvantaged students.
The simple method for estimating the difference in outcomes is to apply logistic regression. This study used two control variables, academic achievement in high school and percentile scores on math and reading exams. The results were very similar to those obtained using a conventional regression model.
A recent study found that college attendance has a major effect on employment, especially among low-income students. It is unclear how this benefit is distributed among different demographic groups. However, the study found that women received the largest benefits from college attendance.
Other studies have examined the relationship between college attendance and labor outcomes. Some studies have found that women receive more benefit from a college degree than men, while others have shown that a college degree has no effect on earnings. Several studies have found that students of color are under-represented in higher education. In addition, research has found that college attendance has a positive effect on the labor market, even for students who do not complete a degree.
Studies on the benefits of attending college have not been as extensive as those on the benefits of completing a degree. Some have examined the effects of higher institutional selectivity, while others have not. In addition, some studies have focused on only white men.