Chris Hart-Williams | Staff Writer
The graduation rate for undergraduate African-American students reached 65 percent, the highest its been in a decade, according to the N.C. State Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity’s (OIED) most recent, 2012 report.
The last time African-American students had graduation rates this high was in 2006, when the graduation rate was 64 percent, a mere one percentage point shy of the current rate.
During the ten-year span between 2002 and 2012, the rated dipped to its lowest point in 2002 at 46 percent.
OIED formed its report using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the UNC-System’s Division of Institutional Research and Analysis’s, annual graduation and retention report.
According to the OIED data, the latest African-American student graduation rate is also the nearest to graduation rates of white undergraduate students since 2006.
Currently, the graduation rate of white undergraduate students is 72 percent, seven percentage points above African-Americans. In 2006 the graduation rate for white students was 71 percent. When comparing African-Americans to the N.C. student body as a whole, the results are similar.
71 percent is the graduation rate for all N.C. State students, one percentage point lower than White students.
Though the graduation rate of African-Americans is lower than both White students and all N.C. State students, it is higher than the public institution national average graduation rate of 52.8, according to the ACT’s, 2013 Institutional Data report.
According to the ACT, the national average graduation rate is 58.5 percent at private institutions.
In 1983, the ACT began annually conducting surveys of the nation’s two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions retention and persistence to degree rates for its own comprehensive database.
With graduation rates of 75 percent, undergraduate Asian students at N.C. State have the highest graduation rate of any other racial group. International students, the second most represented group at N.C. State after white students, have the lowest graduation rate of 33 percent, according to OIED.
There are schools where African-American graduation rates are equal to or higher than White students, as The Journal of Blacks Higher Education, JBHE pointed out in 2010 review of the nations schools.
North Carolina institutions that made the list include East Carolina University, UNC- Greensboro,Western Carolina University, Elon University, and UNC-Pembroke.
Like African-American students at N.C. State, institutions such as UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and Wake Forest, African-American undergraduates have lower graduation rates than their white counterparts, this is according to recent data published by JBHE of 2013 graduation rates.