Equity

Equity Matters

Closing Attainment Gaps Linked to Race and Ethnicity

Education is the great equalizer. But educational success is uneven in the United States. In fact, significant enrollment and attainment gaps linked to race and ethnicity have long plagued our nation’s educational system, particularly among African American, Hispanic and Native American students. These persistent gaps—which contribute to the rising levels of inequality—must be closed if we are to reach our 2025 attainment goal, the ambitious college-attainment goal that drives all we do at Lumina Foundation. That’s why Lumina has firmly embraced what we call the “Equity Imperative”—the pressing need to close gaps in attainment linked to race and ethnicity.

55 million jobs will be created by the
end of this decade.

 

40 million jobs will require a postsecondary education—a certificate or degree that is beyond the high school degree.

 

Seeks to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality postsecondary credentials to 60% by 2025 in order to address these needs.

Why Equity and Excellence Matters

Lumina Foundation’s Equity Imperative

With equity and excellence as co-driving forces, our nation will address the pressing need to close gaps in attainment linked to race and ethnicity.

Equity

Recognizes the need to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes of American Indian, African-American and Hispanic students.

Excellence

Offers clear, flexible and transparent pathways to students from historically underserved and underrepresented populations in their pursuit of postsecondary
credentials.

Diversity is Increasing

The United States is undergoing a demographic transformation in which people of color are becoming the majority.

U.S. Demographic Transformation Projection
1980

80% White

2014

63% White

2044

People of
color are
majority

U.S. Multiracial and Multicultural Shift
1980
Other
American Indian
Asian
Hispanic6%
Black12%
White80%
1990
Other
American Indian
Asian
Hispanic9%
Black12%
White76%
2000
Other
American Indian
Asian
Hispanic13%
Black12%
White69%
2010
Other
American Indian
Asian
Hispanic18%
Black12%
White64%
2020
Other
Native American
Asian6%
Hispanic19%
Black12%
White60%
2030
Other
Native American
Asian7%
Hispanic22%
Black13%
White55%
2040
Other
Native American
Asian8%
Hispanic24%
Black13%
White51%
1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Other

Degree Attainment Where Students Stand Today vs. Tomorrow

Today’s Degree Attainment Gaps are Unacceptable

Educational success is denied to so many in our nation that it can fairly and accurately be described as a crisis.

College Enrollment Among U.S. Residents (Ages 18–54)
Total Enrollment
14.6%
Ages 18–24
41.6%
Ages 25-54
4.9%
Hispanics
11.3%
African-Americans
14.6%
American Indians
9.3%
Asians / Pacific Islanders
25.2%
Whites
15.0%
Degree-Attainment Rates Among U.S. Adults
(Ages 25–64), by Population Group
46.4%
White
30.0%
African-American
21.9%
Hispanic
61.7%
Asian and Pacific Islander
24.0%
American Indian
Levels of Education for U.S. Residents
(Ages 25–64)
4.69%
7,860,755 Less
than ninth
7.03%
11,782,229 Ninth
to 12th grade,
no diploma
26.35%
44,135,232 High
school graduate
(including
equivalency)
21.50%
36,011,451
Some college,
no degree
8.92%
14,935,196
Associate’s
degree
20.04%
33,565,969
Bachelor’s
degree
11.47%
19,219,899 Graduate
or professional
degree
Total 167,510,731
Current Percentages (Ages 25–64) Holding at Least a Two-Year Degree
46% Whites
30% African-
Americans
24% American
Indians
22% Hispanics

These gaps in higher education attainment have negative
predictors of income, health and employment.

The Need to Steadily Increase Enrollment

19.2 million

were enrolled in 2014

26.8 million

will be enrolled in 2025

Given demographic shifts in U.S. population, enrollment must increase by the following amounts:
For Hispanics
3.3 million
6.4 million
For African-Americans
2.9 million
3.6 million
For American Indians
108 thousand
188 thousand

Connecting Equity and
Excellence In Education

It is a long-standing reality that educational success is uneven in the United States.

Meeting Future
Workforce Needs

Out of the 55 million jobs that will be created by the end of this decade, 40 million will require a postsecondary education degree.

Giving Opportunities that Postsecondary Attainment Provides

People with a four-year degree are making almost twice as much per hour than those without.

Strengthening Our Nation

2/3 of all jobs being created require postsecondary credentials.

It's clear that our national goal must be to ensure that at least 60%of
all Americans
obtain a high-quality postsecondary degree, certificate or other credential.

96%

of Americans say it is somewhat or very important to have a degree or professional certificate beyond a high school diploma.

73% of African-Americans and 72% of Hispanics say it is very important to increase the proportion of Americans with a degree or professional certificate, compared with 56% of Whites.

Equity and Excellence must be co-driving forces to meet the needs of students in a 21st century economy and society.

Reaching Goal 2025: How Do We Address Inequality?

Deliver High-
Quality Education

to the growing numbers of low-income, first-generation, minority and adult students who represent our future as a nation.

Better Define
Postsecondary Degrees

by learning and competencies. Not by time spent in classrooms and on campuses.

Create Affordable
Higher Education

that is more predictable, transparent and aligned with federal and state aid programs.