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A Blueprint for Higher Education Equity

In the United States, people of color will become the new majority in education and workforce settings in just three decades. However, systemic barriers and poorly shaped policy have contributed to persistent inequities between racial and ethnic groups from classrooms to boardrooms. Such challenges extend to postsecondary education and are evident in the deep gaps in student success and college attainment that exist.

Young Invincibles’ paper, Race & Ethnicity as a Barrier to Opportunity: A Blueprint for Higher Education Equity, takes an in-depth look at racial inequities across the postsecondary education system. Key findings include:

  • Access and Affordability: Even after financial aid, Black and Latino families dedicate 48 and 31 percent of their incomes to the cost of college, respectively, compared to only 24 percent for white families.
  • Attainment and Success: In 2015, 36.2 percent of white adults had completed four years of school. Black and Latino adults’ attainment rate sat at 22.5 and 15.5 percent. These gaps have grown wider in the last thirty years.
  • Repayment and Outcomes: Four years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, Latino students are twice as likely to have defaulted on their loans, while African American students are three and a half times more likely than white peers. Students of color are also more likely to have payments deferred than their white peers.

The report provides a series of federal policy recommendations to begin closing these gaps, including how to give students the tools and support they need to access college, complete a degree, and manage student loan debt.

View the full report: Race & Ethnicity as a Barrier to Opportunity: A Blueprint for Higher Education Equity

Read the Executive Summary

View the Access & Affordability One-Pager

View the Attainment & Success One-Pager

View the Repayment & Other Outcomes One-Pager