Data from the National Sample Household Survey - PNAD 2003 was employed to analyse the role of economic status and race/skin colour in access to school, including higher education. Income and race/skin colour variables have a strong impact on the various age groups and school transitions. Constraints that resulted in only a small percentage of young people having access to higher education are dependent upon the number of places the school has to offer at this level of education and even more by the reduced' number of youngBrazilians who manage to finish high school, achievingthe required formal qualification to have access to higher education. Only 40% of youths from 18 to 24 years of age complete high school and a mere 13% of which have access to college. The economic status plays a more important role than race/skin colour, although the latter has an influence throughout all income groups. Finally, the article analyzes the distribution of higher education students within this age group in public and private schools.
ACESS TO EDUCATION; EDUCATIONAL DISCRIMINATION; SOCIAL CLASS; RACE