Closing the Gap

Throughout U.S. higher education, there’s a large gap in graduation rates between white and minority students. But a recent report shows that NC State is a national leader in closing this completion gap.

Students line up for graduation.

The nonprofit Education Trust recently found that NC State is one of the best — both in North Carolina and nationwide — among schools reducing the disparity in graduation rates.

From 2003 to 2013, NC State’s six-year graduation rate for white students increased 4.8 percent, to 74.2 percent, while the six-year graduation rate for minority students increased 12 percent, to 64 percent. That means NC State narrowed the completion gap by 7.2 percentage points.

University campuses are microcosms of society. I don’t think you can have true diversity on campus without having equal opportunity for success.”

— Louis Hunt, senior vice provost for enrollment management and services

To reduce the gap while increasing graduation rates overall, the university has implemented a variety of measures, such as diversity programs and academic initiatives specifically tailored to help underrepresented students overcome social and cultural barriers to academic success. NC State also focuses on providing appropriate levels of financial aid to counter one of the leading reasons students leave school before graduating: financial hardship.

NC State has made student success a top priority, and these efforts are paying off for students of all backgrounds.