Educational Attainment Disparities among African American Youth in the United States of America

Open Access
Jewitt, Matthew G
Area of Honors:
Crime, Law, and Justice
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kevin J Thomas, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jeffery Todd Ulmer, Honors Advisor
  • African American
  • Education
  • Income
  • Family Composition
  • Parent Education
It has been well-documented that education can have a great impact on such factors as socioeconomic status of an individual. The current study explores educational disparities among African Americans in the United States using data from the Education Longitudinal study of 2002. The study sought to examine relationships between race, total household income, family composition, and parent’s highest level of education with a respondent’s likelihood to attend post-secondary school. Findings indicate that Hispanics and African Americans are less likely to attend post-secondary school than Asians and Whites. The data also indicate that there is a positive correlation between household income and post-secondary school attendance for African Americans until household income exceeds $100,001. The data indicate that African Americans living in households with both a mother and father were more likely to attend post-secondary school than respondents living in households with a single mother and households with a single father. Finally, the data indicate that African American respondents whose parents have a bachelor’s degree and a graduate level degree or higher are more likely to attend post-secondary school than respondents whose parents did not finish high school.