Inequality: Underrepresentation of African American Males in U.S. Higher Education

Although the percentage of Blacks earning college degrees has nearly doubled over the past 20years, Blacks earn only 10% of college degrees, 12% of graduate degrees, and 7% of doctoral degrees (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Furthermore, Blacks are more likely to attend lower-quality institutions and less likely to graduate (Mettler, 2014). This translates into possibly fewer Black men completing degrees in public affairs education and seeking public service. If we are to secure a representative bureaucracy (Krislov, 2013; Naff, 2001) in which both public administrators and college faculty mirror the nation’s demographics, then we must ensure that Black males have equal access to an affordable, quality college education resulting in degree completion. In this article, we examine disparities in higher education along three procedural areas: (a) access, (b) affordability, and (c) attainment. We provide substantive policy recommendations toward ensuring both access and degree attainment for all individuals regardless of race or income.

Although the percentage of Blacks earning college degrees has nearly doubled over the past 20years, Blacks earn only 10% of college degrees, 12% of graduate degrees, and 7% of doctoral degrees (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Furthermore, Blacks are more likely to attend lower-quality institutions and less likely to graduate (Mettler, 2014). This translates into possibly fewer Black men completing degrees in public affairs education and seeking public service. If we are to secure a representative bureaucracy (Krislov, 2013; Naff, 2001) in which both public administrators and college faculty mirror the nation’s demographics, then we must ensure that Black males have equal access to an affordable, quality college education resulting in degree completion. In this article, we examine disparities in higher education along three procedural areas: (a) access, (b) affordability, and (c) attainment. We provide substantive policy recommendations toward ensuring both access and degree attainment for all individuals regardless of race or income.

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Categories: Academia, African American, Equality, Equity, Gender, Gender Equity