Study Says Higher Education is Racially Separate and Unequal

White students are increasingly more concentrated at top-tier colleges, while Blacks populate the least well-funded colleges.

Posted: 08/01/2013 12:17 PM EDT

New research by Georgetown Public Policy Institute breaks down the growing racial polarization in America's higher education system, especially in the country's top well-funded and selective institutions.

Since 1995, 82 percent of new white enrollment have gone to the 468 most selective colleges. Meanwhile 68 percent of new Black enrollment have gone to the two-year and four-year open-access schools. Enrollment trends from 4,400 post-secondary institutions over the past 15 years were analyzed for the study. 

The study found that White americans who are unprepared still have more opportunities than African-Americans who are unprepared. Yet African-Americans who are well-qualified for top schools disproportionately end up in institutions that does not serve their potential.

Although African-Americans are increasingly enrolling in college, barriers still exist for them in gaining access to the best schools. These includes lack of financial means connected to class and the lack of recruitment efforts from top institutions in low-income communities. Enrollment trends from 4,400 post-secondary institutions over the past 15 years were analyzed for the study.

Huffington Post reports:

The authors of the Georgetown study emphasize recruitment efforts as an issue as well. They position the need to “level the playing field” as a challenge to both education, economic and social policymakers. The authors suggest that more outreach from admissions departments at these top-tier institutions is where the solution may lay.

Another barrier to entry lies in financial means and affordability connected to class. With tuition costs at top colleges hovering around $60,000 per year, some families simply cannot afford it, and with that in mind some may not even apply to certain schools.

Read full story here.

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(Photo: GettyImages)

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