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Universities Are Challenged as Demographics Shift

Universities Are Challenged as Demographics Shift
Reeve Hamilton and Jon Marcus, Texas Tribune (via NY Times), January 1, 2010

In August, 60 years after the University of Texas admitted its first black student, the school welcomed the first freshman class in which white students were in the minority.

White students, who accounted for 51 percent of U.T.’s freshman class in 2009, made up 48 percent in 2010. Black and Hispanic students represented about 5 percent and 23 percent, respectively, with Asians and other races making up the rest.

The state’s flagship university passed the demographic milestone earlier than some had anticipated, reflecting a similar shift that is rapidly taking place at other top-level educational institutions across the country.

Although the changing demographics of college campuses may be grabbing the headlines, the more compelling issue is how the growing number of minority students presents serious social and academic challenges for financially strapped universities, even as the schools are under pressure to boost graduation rates.

Nationally, 52 percent of Hispanic students and 58 percent of black students are unable to earn a bachelor’s degree in six years, compared with 40 percent of white students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  (Read more)