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Many State Flagship Universities Leave Black and Latino Students Behind

Many of the nation’s best public universities are enrolling disproportionately few African-American and Latino students.

Flagship universities are the jewels in the crown of public higher education systems — they have sought-after faculty, preeminent research facilities, the most resources and often the highest graduation rates, for all races. They also stand as beacons of affordable excellence for the students of their states. But when it comes to equitably serving the state’s residents, whose taxes fund these top-flight universities, many fall far short of their stated missions. Often there are big differences — defined by race — between who’s graduating from a state’s public high schools and who’s getting into its flagship universities.