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Minority graduation gap among nation's lowest at Loyola

Loyola press release - August 16, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans ranked among the nation’s best private colleges and universities in narrowing the graduation gap between minorities (African-American and Latino) and white students, according to two reports conducted by the 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 a compared 65.2 percent of black students, which places the university as the 4th best in the nation for narrowing that margin. A separate report shows Loyola ranked 11th in the country for the smallest graduation rate gap between Latinos and whites, graduating 66 percent of their Latino students compared to 63.2 of white students.

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

Nationally, the graduation gap average between whites and African-Americans is 20 percent. Fewer than half of Hispanics who enter four-year colleges and universities graduate within six years, compared to a 60 percent graduation rate for whites.

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

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

For more information, please contact Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5883 or publaff@loyno.edu.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.