Report: Doors to Selective Public Colleges Open Wider to White Students

A new report from the Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that despite being funded by all taxpayers, selective public colleges do not serve all segments of their states’ populations.

“In reality, the doors of these colleges are open wider to white students than to their black and Latino peers,” the report, Our Separate & Unequal Public Colleges: How Public Colleges Reinforce White Racial Privilege and Marginalize Black and Latino Students, states.

According to the report, whites have almost two-thirds (64 percent) of the seats in selective public colleges even though they make up barely half (54 percent) of the nation’s college-age population. The vast majority of black and Latino students enroll in “overcrowded and underfunded open-access colleges, primarily community colleges,” the report found.

Citing the disparity in fairness and money, the report noted selective public colleges are spending nearly three times as much per student on instructional and academic support as public open-access colleges.

“This isn’t just a matter of equity. It’s a matter of determining the future,” the report concluded.

Watch a video about the report’s findings and read the full report.

Shanda Ivory is NACAC’s director of communications. You can reach her at

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