Black Students Excel at Top Colleges

Memo to Justice Antonin Scalia

Supreme-Court-Judge-Antonin-Scalia

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that black students would perform better at "slower-track" schools

Affirmative action policies in college admissions are currently occupying the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. These policies typically treat black (or other less advantaged) applicants differently, perhaps by granting admission with a lower SAT score. One of the arguments against affirmative action is the “mismatch” theory, invoked by Justice Scalia’s recent oral arguments: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well,” he said, as opposed to “a slower-track school where they do well.”

[Related: HBCUs Are Still The Solution]

In fact, the evidence for mismatch points to very weak, if any effects, which are in any case dwarfed by the large positive effects of attending a more selective college.

Black students are more likely to graduate at more selective colleges

Black graduation rates are consistently higher in more selective colleges:

Graph showing that black students are more likely to graduate from top colleges

(Source: Rothwell)

 

For students entering the 500 most selective four-year colleges and universities in 2001, the correlation between the black graduation rate and standardized SAT/ACT scores is 0.59. More selective colleges have much higher black graduation rates.

Comparing students with similar test scores, black students at the most selective schools are more likely to graduate and earn STEM credits than their peers at less selective schools, with no difference in grades, according to data from the Department of Education.

The black-white gap in graduation does not increase with selectivity

Another way to test for mismatch is to compare black and white outcomes at the same school. If black students are being mismatched into top colleges, there should be a larger black-white gap in graduation rates at selective colleges. That is not the case. There is in fact a negative and insignificant relationship between graduation rate gaps and selectivity:

Graph illustrating the difference between black and white college student graduation rates

(Source: Rothwell)


Students with low SAT scores earn big salaries after graduating from top colleges

What about earnings after college?

Read more at the Brookings Institution.



16 Responses to Black Students Excel at Top Colleges

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  3. Nathan Bollong says:

    Untrue. If u go to the 2014 Princeton University study titled “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal,” it shows that black students at elite universities fail at a much higher rate that white or Asian-American students. In fact, the study disclosed that there is a tremendous amount of pressure brought to bear on professors to pass AA students failing their classes. Justice Scalia was voiding his concerns over the various studies that have displayed such.
    I don’t know where the “factual” data came from in this article, but it flies in the face of the data, the preponderance of which supports Justice Scalia’s position, The Left in this Country seems to be averse to any data or free speech that does not agree with their positions.

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