Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


American Council on Education


Minority serving institutions (MSIs) play an integral role in American society, allowing a pathway to and through higher education for the nation’s rural and urban communities, and providing access to college for millions of students of color from disadvantaged backgrounds. The analysis presented in this report utilizes data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)—the largest and most comprehensive source of postsecondary enrollment nationwide—to examine how students who started college in 2007 at an MSI move through higher education. The first study to utilize NSC data to examine enrollment and outcome trends at MSIs, this report aims to paint a more complete picture of the contributions of MSIs to the communities they serve. NSC data capture student enrollment profiles and outcomes beyond that which is available through U.S. Department of Education data and the federal graduation rate, a measure often used for accountability purposes.



Minority Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Asian American students, Native American students, academic achievement, minority students