Immediate Enrollment Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 1975–2008

In the mid-1970s, Hispanic high school graduates were as likely as white graduates to enroll immediately in college. In 2000, the Hispanic enrollment rate was 19 percentage points below the white enrollment rate; the gap narrowed to 8 percentage points by 2008.

Figure 2.2a: Postsecondary Enrollment Rates of Recent High School Graduates by Race/Ethnicity, 1975–2008
Figure 2.2a: Immediate Enrollment Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 1975–2008

Figure 2.2a shows the percentage of high school graduates who enrolled in college within 12 months of high school graduation.

Notes & Sources 

Note: Postsecondary enrollment includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Enrollment rates reflect moving averages, with the rate for each year the average of three years — the specified year and the two preceding years. Because of small sample sizes for Hispanics and black, annual fluctuations in enrollment rates may not be significant.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2009, Table 201.

  • From 1998 to 2004, the gap between the proportions of white and black high school graduates who enrolled in college within a year fluctuated between 8 and 10 percentage points. By 2008, the gap had grown to about 14 percentage points.
  • The immediate college enrollment rate for black high school graduates was higher over the decade ending in 2008 than it had ever been before, but in contrast to the patterns for whites and Hispanics, it did not grow over the decade.
  • In 2008, about 70% of white, 62% of Hispanic, and 56% of black high school graduates enrolled in college within 12 months of graduation.