U.S. Higher-Education System Perpetuates White Privilege, Report Says

July 31, 2013

Colleges and universities have succeeded in attracting more underrepresented-minority students, but that increased access for black and Hispanic students has been accompanied by increasing campus polarization on the basis of race and ethnicity, says a report released on Wednesday by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. The result, it says, is a system in which elite selective colleges enroll predominantly white students while black and Hispanic students, even high-achieving ones, largely attend open-access institutions. Because the latter group of colleges spends less on instruction and sees lower shares of students through to graduation, higher education has thus become a "passive agent" in perpetuating white privilege, says the report, "Separate and Unequal: How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege."