Ranking list steers Black, Latine students to colleges with high graduation rates

A ranking list compiled by a charter school network in California is helping Black and Latine students decide which colleges to attend by revealing how well the institutions graduate minority students. The group, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, serves many students who are from immigrant families, have parents with limited English-speaking skills, and would be the first in their family to attend college.

Hoping to increase these students’ chance of post-secondary success, Alliance ranks approximately 2,500 U.S. colleges using federal data on their six-year graduation rate for Black and Latine students; the list also reflects alumni feedback on their experiences. And for the first time, Alliance has made widely available its “Power 150” list of schools who graduate at least 74 percent of their Black and Latino students within six years.

Power 150, personalized lists direct attention to high-performing institutions

The Power 150 list shows that more selective institutions tend to graduate the highest percentage of minority students, suggesting, The Los Angeles Times writes, “that many low-income minority students would do better opting for the more highly rated school—even at the price of taking on debt.” Brown University, Pomona College, Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, and Skidmore College make up the list’s top five, all with graduation rates of 95 percent or higher for Black and Latine students. The Times reports that the list also shows significant variation in performance within groups of similar colleges.

The master ranking list also enables Alliance to create personalized resources for the juniors and seniors attending its schools. These documents outline a “recommended college research list,” including high-performing reach schools, colleges where that student is likely to be admitted, and information on the availability of financial aid.

Noting that many lower-income students perceive selective schools to be out of reach, Education Dive says the list may help direct families’ attention to top schools that are well-positioned to offer students a “mix of peer mentoring, transition programs, financial aid, and counseling.”

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