Students of color continue to make significant gains in college enrollment. In fact, from 1994 to 2004, minority enrollment rose 49 percent to more than 4.8 million. But enrollment is only part of the picture. Minority students trail their white counterparts in the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college, commonly known as the college participation rate.

New figures released last week by the American Council on Education show that between 1993-95 and 2003-05, 48 percent of white high school graduates enrolled in college compared to 41 percent of African Americans and 37 percent of Hispanics. The gap between whites and Hispanics is particularly troubling because it stands at double digits.

The ACE report challenges us to recognize the demographic, political and social realities of the 21st century. These persistent gaps in college participation among whites and minorities tell us that we must be more creative and imaginative in developing strategies and finding additional resources so that more students of color are successful on our campuses.