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Separate and Unequal


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Separate and Unequal: How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege

Published in: Education, News & Politics

Separate and Unequal

  1. Separate & Unequal How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege By: Anthony P. Carnevale and Jeff Strohl July 31, 2013
  2. Overview •  The higher education system is more and more complicit as a passive agent in the systematic reproduction of white racial privilege across generations.This report analyzes enrollment trends at 4,400 postsecondary institutions by race and institutional selectivity over the past 15 years. •  Since 1995, 82 percent of new white enrollments have gone to the 468 most selective colleges*, while 72 percent of new Hispanic enrollment and 68 percent of new African- American enrollment have gone to the two-year open-access schools * Barron’s Education Series, College Division. 2009 Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2008. A shortlist of the 468 most selective colleges is available on our website. For a full list, please consult Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.
  3. •  The good news is that the percentage of African- Americans and Hispanics enrolling in postsecondary has dramatically increased. More African Americans and Hispanics are going to postsecondary institutions, but it is a good news, bad news story
  4. •  The vast majority of white freshmen are going to the 468 most selective, four-year colleges. African-American and Hispanic freshmen, on the other hand, are primarily attending under-resourced two- and four-year colleges. The bad news is that there are two separate secondary pathways
  5. •  Whites have an advantage over their African- American and Hispanic peers since they attend colleges with greater financial resources and higher completion rates. •  As a result of attending more selective colleges, whites have higher rates of graduate school enrollment and advanced degree attainment, as well as higher future earnings, even among equally qualified students. These separate pathways lead to unequal educational and economic outcomes  
  6. Whites are attending colleges that spend almost five times as much on instruction as open-access two- and four-year colleges, which African Americans and Hispanics disproportionately attend
  7. Whites also attend colleges in which graduates have higher predicted earnings than the colleges their African-American and Hispanic peers attend
  8. The inequality in the postsecondary system also carries over to the labor force •  Workers with professional degrees earn more over a lifetime than workers who dropped out of college
  9. Your parents’ past can affect your future •  In the United States, parents’ education plays a large influence on their children’s educational attainment and whites are twice as likely as African Americans and three times as likely as Hispanics to complete a BA or higher.
  10. Conclusion •  The United States is currently stuck in a cycle where whites take one educational path and African Americans and Hispanics take a different one. •  These different paths result in unequal educational opportunities that also lead to lower wages for African Americans and Hispanics. •  Separate paths, combined with both unequal outcomes and low social and economic mobility in the United States has led to the intergenerational reproduction of white racial privilege.
  11. For more information: See the full report at:   Email Us | Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find Us on Facebook | Follow Us on LinkedIn |