College enrollment rate surges for black high school grads

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Is college worth the cost?

The percentage of black high school graduates enrolled in college jumped last year, exceeding that of both white and Hispanics, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's the highest percentage of black enrollment since BLS started tracking the data.

Among 2014 high school graduates, 86.1% of Asians enrolled in college, compared to 70.9% of black graduates, 67.3% of white graduates and 65.2% of Hispanic graduates.

While numbers for Asian, white and Hispanic enrollment were little changed from the year before, for black graduates, however, there was a significant leap. In 2013, just 59.3% of black graduates enrolled in college.

2014 bls report

Overall, the report showed that 68.4% of all 2014 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, not much changed from a year earlier.

Though the 2014 data show that a higher percentage of black graduates were enrolled in college than white graduates, BLS economist Steve Hipple said the difference between the black, white and Hispanic enrollment wasn't statistically significant.

Related: How I got into an Ivy League school

BLS began publishing numbers on school enrollment of people between the ages of 16 and 24 in 1959. Black graduates first appeared in the data in 1976. At that time, 41.9% percent of graduates were enrolled in college.

The number grew steadily into the 50% range into the 1990s, and by 2009, it was virtually even with that of white graduates, at about 69%.

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