It is to be hoped participants in a conference on diversity in West Virginia higher education will focus not just on getting more minority students into colleges and universities - but also on getting them out with degrees.
Educational attainment among black Americans lags badly behind that for other races. For example, roughly twice as many whites as blacks aged 25 and over have college degrees. The traditional approach to solving the problem has been through diversity quotas and other schemes to enroll more minority students in higher education.
No doubt diversity in enrollment will be a topic at this week's conference, being sponsored Wednesday in Charleston by the state Higher Education Policy Commission.
But keeping students of all races in school once they enroll, then helping them obtain degrees in a reasonable amount of time, is a critical aspect of the diversity question. It matters not how many minority students enroll if they drop out in frustration.
A study by the HEPC estimates that while about 39 percent of ninth-graders will go to college, only about 16 percent will earn bachelor's degrees within six years.
That is absurd. For the good of all young people, not just those in minorities, the HEPC priority needs to be improving that number.