5 Colleges: Blacks Are Top of the Class

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(The Root) — There’s been a lot of talk about the lack of black student success at our nation’s colleges. Nationwide, the black college graduation rate is a dismal 42 percent. But what about schools that are graduating high rates of black students? For the last seven years, college-completion rates of black students at high-ranked universities have increased with a significant uptick over the last 25 years. Moreover, there are five elite schools where black graduation rates outpace that of white students.

1. Mount Holyoke College

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Located in Mt. Holyoke, Mass., it’s one of three Seven Sister colleges (women’s colleges founded to be the female Ivies) on this list. Mount Holyoke graduates 82 percent of its black students, compared to 78 percent of white students. MoHo continues to graduate “Women of Influence.”

2. Smith College

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Located in Northampton, Mass., Smith graduates 87 percent of its black students — a rate 4 percent higher than its white students. Back in 1998, that rate was 70 percent. How’s that for “Women for the World”?

3. Macalester College

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 St. Paul, Minn.’s Macalester College graduates 84 percent of its black students — 2 percent higher than its white students. Macalester raised its rates from a dismal 62 percent in 1998 to 84 percent in 2005. Pretty good, don’t ya know?

4. Wellesley College

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Massachusett’s Wellesley College is known to graduate “Women Who Will.” Wellesley graduates 92 percent of its black students, compared to 90 percent of its white students. That’s a big increase from 80 percent in 1998. Shouts to Harambee House!

5. Pomona College

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Maybe California’s sunny skies influence Pomona‘s high graduation rate. On average, Pomona graduates 81 percent of its black students, compared to 80 percent of its white students. Go Sagehens!

Diamond Sharp is an editorial fellow at The Root

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