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Minority graduation gap among nation's lowest at Loyola

August 13, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans ranked among the nation’s best private college and universities in narrowing the graduation gap between minorities ( black and Latino) and white students, according to two reports conducted by academic advocacy group The Education Trust.

According to the report, over a three year period (2006-08), Loyola graduated 63.2 percent of white students to compared 65.2 percent of black students, ranked 4th best in the nation. A separate report shows Loyola ranked 11th in the country, graduating 66 percent of their Latino students compared to 63.2 of white students.

According to the reports, the graduation gap between whites and African-Americans is twenty percentage points and fewer than half of Hispanic students who enter four-year colleges and universities graduate within six years.

Loyola was the only school in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama to be ranked in both categories.

Salvadore A. Liberto, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost at Loyola, recently told education online magazine, Inside Higher Ed, that the university has made a conscious effort to institute, “all the programs and best practices that admissions and retention experts agree greatly increase students' chances of academic success.”


These strategies include programs that track student data, design learning communities, advise students, and link them to support services that help them achieve academic success.

As far as recruiting successful minority students, Liberto says Loyola’s regional orientation and reputation as a Jesuit institution help the university attract at-risk applicants without an overly aggressive recruitment campaign.

“About a third of our students are members of underrepresented minority groups,” said Liberto. “Because the university has over time provided a great deal of support for students who fall into any kind of at-risk categories, it has produced many successful students of all races.”

The Education Trust report on the graduation gap can be found at http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/publications/files/CRO%20Brief-Hispanic.pdf.

The Inside Higher Ed article by Doug Lederman can be accessed at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/10/gaps

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