State officials worry that too many of Texas’ top students of color aren’t going on to college. Before the pandemic hit, nearly 17% of the state’s Black students and 16% of Latinos who graduated in the top 10% of their classes not only skipped a state school but also didn’t show up enrolled at any other college or university in the country, said Harrison Keller, Texas’ commissioner of higher education. By comparison, about 10% of white students didn’t show up in enrollment data nationwide.
“These are students who’ve done everything they were asked to do,” he said. “They won academic awards; qualified for automatic admission to our Texas universities; and then did not enroll directly out of high school.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board intends to study how trends have shifted for the state’s top students since the pandemic started in 2020.