Berea’s African American Students’ Successes Make Black History


The African American students at Berea College continue the next chapter in Black History. Inspired by the achievements of generations of African-American students preceding them, today’s students gain success in the classrooms, in labor, in extracurricular activities and organizations as a result of their own diligence and the many initiatives the College has put in place to ensure successful outcomes for this cohort of students.

Compared to other schools, Berea enrolls a higher percentage of African American students (15.3%) than other four-year, not-for-profit universities (11.0%). Not only does Berea enroll, on average, more African American students, but Berea also has higher retention and graduation rates than other schools in the United States. Berea’s distinctive history of interracial education and contemporary programs help African American students thrive and succeed. While other schools average six-year graduation rates of just 33.6% overall, Berea College has a six-year graduation rate of 61.9% for our African American students. We congratulate them on their success!

The following chart provides comparative data about retention and graduation rates for African American students at Berea College and other schools. (*)

Six-Year Graduation Rates for Four-Year Private, Not-for-Profit Institutions (Based on Entering Cohort 2008)

Black or African-American Students (does not include multi-racial students)
Percent of First-Year Students who are Black or African American (not multi-racial)All Students (provided for context)AllMalesFemales
Berea College15.30%62.20%61.90%60.00%63.60%
Historically Black Colleges or Universities (N = 101)83.70%28.30%31.30%25.00%35.80%
All Four-Year Private, Not-for-Profit (N = 1,717)11.00%49.10%33.60%29.50%36.60%
By Region according to IPEDS
Southeast (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) (N = 358)26.80%48.60%32.80%28.00%36.20%
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) (N = 156)6.60%68.90%48.50%45.60%50.60%
Mid East (DE, DC, MD, NJ, NY, PA) (N = 347)8.00%66.50%53.70%49.40%56.20%
Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) (N = 281)9.80%55.30%25.70%24.60%26.40%
Plains (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) (N = 182)5.70%57.80%33.30%27.60%40.20%
Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX) (N = 94)11.40%55.40%31.40%26.10%36.10%
Rocky Mountains (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY) (N = 38)2.50%42.50%16.80%16.90%16.80%
Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA) (N = 214)4.60%70.80%58.30%58.30%58.40%
Outlying Areas (AS, FM, GU, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI) (N = 47)0.04%16.60%22.20%20.00%25.00%

(*) The chart IPEDS data (federal reporting) based on 6-year graduation rates.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Black History, diversity, Students

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.