Friday, June 24, 2011

What do we mean by Underrepresented Minority?

Q. What do we mean by "Underrepresented Minority"?

A. In higher education, this term describes a racial or ethnic group that is less likely to attend or graduate from college (in other words -- be "represented" among college students and college graduates) than the general population. Minorities can be underrepresented in general, at a certain level (bachelor's degree holders or graduate student, for example), or within a certain academic discipline (like computer science or law).

When measuring college graduation rates in the U.S., the PIA project draws mainly from data provided by the U.S. Census. According to recent Census data, over 28 percent of U.S. residents of age (25 or older) have at least a bachelor's degree. In other to be underrepresented among bachelors degree holders, a minority group must have a college graduation rate that is lower than the national average of 28 percent.

By comparison to the national average of 28 percent, only 14 percent of single-race Pacific Islander Americans have a 4-year-degree.

(This is according to data published in May, 2011. Because these numbers continually change, we'll update this section periodically. Here's a link to the data we're currently using: LINK)

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