New ACE Report Looks at Low-income Undergraduates
December 02, 2019

​A new brief, a companion to ACE’s seminal report Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report, examines student income alongside race and ethnicity. The brief provides an overview of low-income undergraduate students, who they are, where they enroll, and how they pay for college.

This brief analyzes data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study 2015-16 and finds that, while more students of color are seeking a postsecondary credential than ever before, many equity gaps remain, including among students with the most financial need.
In 2015-16, 45.2 percent of all undergraduates identified as a racial or ethnic group other than White, the report said. Overall, students of color—particularly Black students—had lower persistence rates and completion rates, higher debt burdens, and lower median annual earnings than their White peers.

The brief examines student income alongside race and ethnicity in enrollment of institutions by sector, fields of study, and types of financial aid. Click here to read the brief. 

This companion brief was made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It was authored by ACE’s Morgan Taylor, senior research analyst, and Jonathan M. Turk, associate director for research.

Mo​re Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education

Visit the microsite to explore featured findings and learn more about the project, data sources, and research methodology.


View the Report Downloads page to download the full report, the executive summary, and individual report chapters.