Higher Education and the Color Line: College Access, Racial Equity, and Social Change

Paperback / softback
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision upholding affirmative action, this comprehensive and timely book outlines the agenda for achieving racial justice in higher education in the next generation. Weaving together current research and a discussion of overarching demographic, legal, and political issues, the book focuses on the racial transformation of higher education and the structural barriers that perpetuate racial stratification at the postsecondary level. Higher Education and the Color Line includes chapters that outline the demographic changes in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary school enrollment; the evolving role of law and policy; the barriers faced by minority college students; and the kinds of programs that best serve them. Topics addressed include financial aid; the role of community colleges; nontraditional paths to postsecondary education; and the role of higher education in social and economic mobility. In addition to providing a thorough and up-to-date assessment of the state of racial integration in higher education, the book goes beyond the usual black-and-white analysis to provide a multiethnic perspective supported by extensive new data. Taken together, these discussions examine the role of higher education in opening up equal opportunity for mobility in American society--or in reinforcing the segregation between white and nonwhite America. It provides insight for how institutions, states, and the country should be thinking about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's hope that affirmative action will no longer be needed in 25 years.