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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Educational Attainment


In 2007, some 13 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives 25 years or older held a bachelor's or graduate degree.

Figure 7.1. Percentage of adults ages 25 and over, by highest level of educational attainment and race/ ethnicity: 2007
Percentage of adults ages 25 and over, by highest level of educational attainment and race/
ethnicity: 2007
1 High school completion includes equivalency (e.g., General Education Development certificate or GED).
NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007.

In 2007, some 44 percent of American Indians/ Alaska Natives age 25 or older had attended some college or completed an undergraduate or graduate degree. Approximately 36 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives had completed high school without continuing on to a postsecondary institution, and 20 percent had not finished high school.1 A higher percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives did not finish high school when compared to Whites (9 percent), Asians (12 percent), and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (11 percent). However, a lower percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives did not finish high school when compared to Hispanics (40 percent).

A lower percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives completed a bachelor's degree (9 percent) as their highest level of educational attainment than all other racial/ethnic groups, with the exception of Hispanics. No measurable difference was detected between American Indians/Alaska Natives and Hispanics at this level. In addition, a lower percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives obtained a graduate degree (5 percent) than their White (11 percent) or Asian (21 percent) peers. No measurable differences were detected between American Indians/Alaska Natives and Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders at this level.

View Table View Table 7.1

1 This is different from the status dropout rate of 15 percent reported in indicator 3.4. The 20 percent reported here represents adults 25 years and older who have not completed a high school credential. The status dropout rate is the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of school and who have not completed a high school credential.

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