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ODU Among Schools with Higher than Average Graduation Rates for African American Students, Study Shows

A new study by the Education Trust demonstrates that Old Dominion University is doing a better job than most universities in the percentage of African American students who earn degrees.

The report - titled "Big Gaps, Small Gaps" - was conducted, along with a similar study about Hispanic students, to compare graduation rates among visible minorities to those of Caucasian students.

The reports found that nationwide, among the schools surveyed, 57 percent of students who enroll in four-year, nonprofit colleges earn diplomas within six years, but that the graduation rates for different groups of students vary wildly.

On average, 60 percent of white students earn bachelor's degrees in six years, compared with 49 percent of Hispanic students and 40 percent of African American students.

However, the Education Trust singled out ODU as one of the schools that does a good job graduating black students. According to the report, 56 percent of African American students at the university graduated within six years or less, far above the national average, and only a few percentage points behind the graduation rate for white students.

The two reports were spotlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education on Aug. 9. The Chronicle quoted Education Trust president Kati Haycock, who said some institutions have achieved "smashing success" at equalizing graduation rates, while others have records of "shocking irresponsibility."

The Education Trust is a nonprofit organization that focuses on closing the educational opportunity gaps among all students, from pre-kindergarten through college. The full reports are available on the Education Trust's website, http://www.edtrust.org/dc/press-room/press-release/reports-reveal-colleges-with-the-biggest-smallest-gaps-in-minority-gradu.

This article was posted on: August 18, 2010

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.