Is UCF really a great university for minority students?

According to the magazine Diverse:  Issues in Higher Education (as reported by School Zone), the University of Central Florida ranked 12th in the nation for awarding degrees to minority students.  In particular, Diverse ranked UCF 8th in the numbers of African-American and Hispanic students earning degrees.

I pulled up numbers from the Florida Board of Governors using the Interactive University Database to see whether UCF is really doing a better job than the entire State University System (SUS) at graduating African-American and Hispanic students.  In particular, I compared UCF and the SUS by examining the percentages of bachelors’ degrees awarded to African-American and Hispanic students – both for all fields and for the most marketable degrees (engineering, computer fields and physical sciences).

The bottom line is that UCF awards a smaller percentage of its bachelors’ degrees to African-Americans and Hispanics than the SUS in all the categories I examined.

In 2012-13, UCF awarded 9.5% of its bachelors’ degrees to African-American students, while the corresponding number for the entire SUS was 12.1%.  Hispanic students received 18.1% of UCF’s bachelors’ degrees – the SUS number was 22.8%.

The percentages for engineering, computer fields and physical sciences all followed the same pattern, although UCF seems particularly weak in educating African-American students in computer fields.

The reason UCF graduates so many African-American and Hispanic students is because…it’s so darn HUGE (60,000 students) and not because it is doing anything particularly effective for its minority students.



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