While extensive research has shown the connection between educational access/attainment and the reduction in economical and social inequalities many within the United States are still being shut out of inclusive and equitable quality education. Educational attainment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino-Americans, Native Americans, inner-city/urban school district students, Appalachian natives, and those of low socioeconomic status continues to lag.
Hispanic educational attainment rates are below the state average in all except two states (Maine & West Virginia) - Lumina Foundation
African-American educational attainment rates are below the state average in all except three states (New Mexico, Vermont & Wyoming) - Lumina Foundation
In Vermont and Wyoming, the African-American educational attainment rates actually exceed those of Caucasian-Americans
According to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the college-going rate of high school graduates nationwide is 63.3%; for Appalachia the rate is between 35% and 55%.
Only 17.7% of the population, age 25 and older, in Appalachia has a college degree, compared with 24.4% of the population in the nation as a whole. While this gap may not appear large, it is growing.
According to the New York Times, the share of African-American freshmen at elite schools is virtually unchanged since 1980. African-American students are just 6% of freshmen but accounts for 15% of college-age Americans.
African-American students remain underrepresented in a number of flagships in states with a large share of college-age residents who are African-American.
In the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina, African-Americans represent about a third or more of each state’s college-age population but less than 15% of the freshman enrollment at the flagship university.
Of the 50 flagship institutions, the highest rate of African-American students was 14% at Louisiana State University and the lowest was 1% at multiple institutions.
Of the 50 flagship institutions, the highest rate of Hispanic students was 53% at the University of New Mexico and the lowest was 4% at multiple institutions.