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Graduation rates among African-American students on the rise at Northeastern, study says

Posted by Your Town  August 5, 2013 05:09 PM

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Graduation rates among black students at Northeastern University are on the rise, according to a study by The Education Trust.

According to the report, in the past decade, the graduation rate among African-American students at Northeastern has grown 27.4 percentage points -- from 42.1 percent in 2002 to 69.5 percent in 2011. From 2010 to 2011 alone, the graduation rate for blacks rose 4.8 percentage points.

The Education Trust's mission is to "close the gaps in opportunity and achievement" among low-income families and minorities.

The report noted that during this time period, the graduation rates for white students also improved.

“At these institutions as well as others, success for one student group does not need to come at the expense of another,” the study said.

The Education Trust also found that in the US, the number of black and Latino undergraduates grew “far faster” than white students over the past three years.

Between 2009 and 2011, the number of black undergraduates grew 8.5 percent, from 1,271,636 to 1,379,680. In 2009, 949,304 Latinos were enrolled in an undergraduate, 4-year college; and in 2011, that number jumped to 1,158,268, for a total increase of 22 percent. The number of white students at college was 5,928,302 in 2009, compared to 6,090,212 in 2011, for a 2.7 percent increase.

Success rates for both minority groups also improved for the two year period. African-American graduation rates rose by just under 1 percentage point, reaching 40 percent, and Latino rates increased by 2.3 percent.

The report said that schools should be looking to colleges like Northeastern University, UNC-Greensboro, and Stony Brook as examples of how to improve enrollment and graduation rates among minorities.

“A groundswell of committed institutions could accelerate national graduation rates to new and higher levels for all students and help remedy racial and socioeconomic inequities in education and beyond,” the study said.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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