Racial Graduation Gap in Maryland Widens

State reports 25 percentage point difference between black students and the rest of the student body.

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The public university system in Maryland reported a 25 percentage point graduation gap between black students and the rest of the student body, the Baltimore Sun reports. Forty percent of its black students earn a degree within six years, compared with 65 percent overall. Three years ago, the gap was 15 percentage points.

Enrollment of black students is up by thousands, and some "traditionally white" institutions, like Towson University and the University of Maryland - Baltimore County , have nearly eliminated the graduation gap. However, graduation rates at historically black public colleges have fallen.

Coppin State University in Baltimore has the lowest rate. Only 17 percent of freshmen in 2002 graduated by last year—Coppin's lowest figure since the system began collecting data in 1989. A decade ago, Coppin's graduation rate was 26 percent.

About half of Coppin freshmen take remedial math. Also, about 50 percent fail freshman English the first time they take it, meaning they must repeat it, some of them multiple times, before they can move on.

Inside Higher Ed