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Photo: Axios

Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick told Axios at a virtual event Tuesday that it is critical to expose students to higher education early in their life to close the college enrollment gap between white students and Black students.

Why it matters: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a stark discrepancy in college enrollment between Black students and white students.

  • 56.6% of Black students were enrolled in college as of October 2020, compared with 62.9% of white students, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What he's saying: "It's critical that we do it early ... It's extremely important I think to have them [young students] get an early exposure," he said. "[At Howard] they are able to attend different labs on my campus, so that feel of being around college, demystifying it, is important," Frederick said.

  • "We have to increase the number of high school graduates who are African-American in order to make sure that the pipeline is larger as well," he added.
  • Frederick also noted that while Historically Black Colleges and Universities can be vital in increasing diversity in the workforce, "it can't all be done by HBCU's," he said.
  • "We must ensure that all universities in this country are sensitive to the issue of trying to get a diverse student population and making opportunities for underrepresented minorities to be part of the education system," Frederick said.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

ACLU sues Texas school district for punishing boys with long hair

An instructor leads a classroom discussion at the Xavier Academy in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of seven students in a Texas school district over what they call a discriminatory policy requiring boys, but not girls, to wear short hair.

Driving the news: School officials in the Magnolia Independent School District have punished boys for having long hair, including one 9-year-old student who was forced to serve an in-school suspension for a month and be removed from campus, according to the lawsuit.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.