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The Lumina Foundation

Gallup and the Lumina Foundation are committed to studying perceptions around the most pressing issues facing higher education.

Featured Report

Balancing Act: The Tradeoffs and Challenges Facing Black Students in Higher Education

Many Black students in the U.S. face distinctive challenges to completing postsecondary programs. Six-year completion rates for any type of degree or certificate program are lower for Black students than for those in any other racial or ethnic group. Barriers to completion include the high financial cost of higher education and implicit and overt forms of racial discrimination that cause many to stop out or never enroll in the first place.

Findings from the study conducted by Gallup and Lumina Foundation highlight challenges facing Black learners pursuing different types of postsecondary education, including both short-term credentials and two- and four-year degree programs. Read the report to understand the difficulties faced by some Black learners as they pursue higher education while navigating difficult learning environments and balancing multiple responsibilities.

Balancing Act: The Tradeoffs and Challenges Facing Black Students in Higher Education report cover

Results for the Lumina-Gallup Student Study are based on web surveys conducted Oct. 26 to Nov. 17, 2022, with U.S. adults aged 18 to 59 who have a high school degree/diploma or equivalent and have not yet completed an associate or bachelor's degree. Gallup surveyed 12,015 total U.S. adults, including 3,949 who were currently enrolled in an associate or bachelor's degree program, 2,059 who were enrolled in a certificate or certification program, 3,004 who have some college experience but no degree and are not currently enrolled, and 3,003 individuals who have never enrolled in higher education. Respondents were interviewed via Dynata's web-based panel.

The data are weighted to match national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity and region. Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent American Community Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population.

21% of currently enrolled Black students say they feel discriminated against "frequently" or "occasionally" at their institution.
15% of Black students are caregivers for adult family members or friends, vs. 8% of other students.
59% of Black bachelor's students rate "greater flexibility in work or personal schedule" as very important to their remaining enrolled.

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