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A new report on “Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education” from the American Council on Education found that college students have grown increasingly diverse over the last two decades, but sizable racial disparities in educational attainment and completion rates and debt levels persist, among other findings.

It also found that professors, staff members and administrators remain predominantly white.

The in-depth 323-page report, released Tuesday, delves into 201 indicators “to determine who accesses a variety of educational environments and experiences, to explore how student trajectories and outcomes differ by race and ethnicity, and to provide an overview of the racial and ethnic backgrounds of faculty, staff, and college presidents.” It also draws on eight data sources, mainly data from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hispanic or Latino students accounted for the most growth in undergraduate enrollment from the 1999–2000 academic year to 2019–2020, making up 11.3 percent of total enrollment at the beginning of the period and 20.5 percent by 2020, according to the report. Multiracial students also rose from 2.7 percent of enrollment to 8 percent over that time span. Black undergraduate enrollment increased from 12.1 percent to 15.9 percent between 1999–2000 to 2011–2012 but then fell back to 12.8 percent in 2019-20. American Indian, Alaska Native and Pacific Islander enrollment held relatively steady.

While education attainment rates rose for all racial and ethnic groups, stubborn gaps remain, the report found. Among all American adults aged 25 or older, 48.1 percent earned an associate degree or higher in 2022, up from 25 percent in 2002. But 66.5 percent of Asian adults and 52.9 percent of white adults held degrees, compared to 39 percent of African Americans, 32.2 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives and 29.5 percent of Hispanic or Latino adults. Black students also had lower completion rates than their peers, regardless of the type of institution where they began their studies, including R1 doctoral universities. Though for all racial and ethnic groups, six-year completion rates at R1 institutions were higher than at other kinds of institutions.

The report also noted that faculty diversity lags behind student diversity. The majority, 69.4 percent of all full-time faculty and 56.2 percent of newly hired full-time faculty, were white in 2021. Only 6.1 percent of all full-time faculty and 9.3 percent of new full-time faculty were African American. The share of college and university presidents who are white decreased from 91.9 percent in 1986 to 72.7 percent in 2022. The share of Black presidents rose from 5 percent to 13.6 percent over that period.