Return to the Latest

New Brief Finds Major Racial Disparities in College Major Selection


September 16, 2015

New Brief Finds Major Racial Disparities in College Major Selection, Boosts Case for Providing Outcomes Data by Major

[WASHINGTON]–Today, Young Invincibles released a new brief called Major Malfunction, which looks at racial disparities in college major selection. The report finds African American and Latino students are overrepresented in the lowest paying majors, Latinos are underrepresented in almost all top paying majors, and African Americans are represented at half the rate they should be in important STEM majors.

This brief comes on the heels of the White House unveiling its new College Scorecard, providing students and families with information about institution cost, graduation rates, and average starting salaries. This is a step in the right direction, but students and families need additional information to fully be able to weigh the value of their investment, and that information is major-level data.

“Our research shows that not only are there vast disparities in educational attainment by race, but the inequities extend to fields of study, with students of color underrepresented in the most lucrative fields,” said report authors Tom Allison and Konrad Mugglestone. “For this reason, it is all the the more important to provide students with data about outcomes at both the institution- and major-levels so that they can better asses which schools and fields of study will best set them up for success upon graduation.”