In 14 Southern states, blacks make up about 20 percent of the population, and it is here that there are more than 100 predominantly black colleges and universities. Since the late 1960s, the major predominantly white colleges and universities also have welcomed black students.
While blacks lag behind whites (in percent of the total population) in earning college degrees, they are gaining. The Southern Regional Education Board recently released statistics for 1977 showing that blacks made up about 15 percent of college enrollments and 11 percent of college degrees.
In the 1976-77 school year, 11.2 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded in the 14 Southern states went to black students, and 4.4 percent of all doctorates were awarded to black students. Ninety-six percent of all law degrees awarded that year in the South went to whites.
The US Office for Civil Rights, studying BA degrees earned in 1976 at public colleges and universities, found that some 64,000 minority students were among the approximate total of 600,000.
Blacks accounted for some 40,000; Hispanics for 13,000; Asians some 8,000; and American Indians, about 3,000.