More Student or Faculty Diversity on Campus Leads to Lower Racial Gaps in Graduation Rates
College graduation gaps between Black and white students tend to shrink when there are more students of color or faculty of color on campus. This finding is based on analyses of 2,807 four-year U.S. colleges conducted by psychology researcher Nida Denson and me. Our research appeared as a peer-reviewed article in 2022 in Volume 93, Issue 3, of The Journal of Higher Education.
Not only did we find that the gap in graduation rates between Black and white students is smaller at colleges with a larger percentage of Black students or faculty. We also found that the presence of one racial group may lead to smaller graduation gaps for other groups as well. For example, a greater percentage of Black students or instructors often helps shrink the graduation gap between other groups, such as Latino and white students.