Georgetown University

Our Separate & Unequal Public Colleges: How Public Colleges Reinforce White Racial Privilege

Posted on December 4, 2018

Our Separate & Unequal Public Colleges: How Public Colleges Reinforce White Racial Privilege and Marginalize Black and Latino Students: The Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce finds that “white students are overrepresented at selective public colleges that are well-funded with high graduation rates, while Blacks and Latinos are funneled into overcrowded and underfunded open-access public colleges with low graduation rates.” White students comprise 64 percent of seats at selective public colleges, despite making up just 54 percent of the college-age population. Black and Latino students, by contrast, tend to enroll in postsecondary institutions with worse outcomes, which results in fewer of these students receiving bachelor’s degrees. The report also notes “Students at selective colleges have an 85 percent chance of graduating, while students at open-access colleges have only a 51 percent chance of graduating,” and these selective schools spend “on average, almost three times as much per full-time equivalent student on instructional and academic support as open-access public colleges.”

Our Separate & Unequal Public Colleges: How Public Colleges Reinforce White Racial Privilege and Marginalize Black and Latino Students


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