President's Blog

At Mason, graduation success doesn’t vary by ethnicity

A report released last week by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows what we’ve unfortunately come to expect: that completion rates for Black and Hispanic students are much lower than for White and Asian students, with rates that fluctuate by as many as 25 percentage points. See story here from Inside Higher Ed.

Those national findings do not reflect the outcomes at Mason, where there is little to no disparity in graduation rates by race.

The Clearinghouse used national data from students who entered a college or university in fall 2010, including exclusively full-time and mixed enrollment students, as well as transfers. We did not include part-time freshman students in our statistics, because so few Mason students attend part-time as freshmen.

I wish Mason’s performance in this regard were the norm and not the exception. The ability to succeed in college should not be predetermined by ethnic background. I look forward to the day where the headline of this post will not be a headline anymore. Until then, I congratulate our faculty and staff for getting the job done.