Students equipped with more advanced high school diplomas perform better in college, according to a new report highlighting the need for schools to offer more support for low-income students and students of color.
The Commission for Higher Education’s annual equity report says college achievement gaps are smaller among students with more challenging high school diplomas, but only 16 percent of black students and 25 percent of Hispanic students earn those diplomas.
Commissioner Teresa Lubbers says fewer black students are enrolling in college at all.
“We’ve seen in our African-American community, over the last five years, an 8 percent decline in those who are actually entering college,” she says.
The report also shows graduating classes from Indiana high schools are becoming more diverse. Lubbers says the state has seen a dramatic increase in high school graduates since 2007 – mostly from low-income households, or communities of color.
“We have 10,000 more high school graduates in 2017 and nearly all of those are from underrepresented populations,” she says.
But graduates still face financial pressure; about one-third of graduates in 2017 came from low-income households.