most attend predominantly white colleges and universities. When she was looking for a college to attend, Samanthia Sanders of Fort Washington, Maryland, says she was looking for one with name recognition and racial diversity. “I didn’t want my degree to be questioned. I wanted people to know what school I went to. I also wanted something that would prepare me for what the world is actually like, because the world is not all-black,” says the 20-year-old Florida State University business major.
“As college boards report, FSU is the only university in the country in the top ten for white and black students,” says the school’s provost, Lawrence Abele, Ph.D.
However, FSU, No. 26 on the BLACK ENTERPRISE/DAYSTAR TOP 50 list, is not the top representative of the Sunshine State. That honor goes to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Better known as FAMU, the public school was also named “College of the Year” by Time magazine/Princeton Review for 1998. Like other schools on the BLACK ENTERPRISE/DAYSTAR TOP 50 list, the college is a favorite among corporate donors and recruiters. It’s also giving strong competition to prestigious Ivy League and research schools such as Harvard (No. 28) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 45) for African American National Achievement Scholars. “We have a strong set of academic programs and job opportunities are among the best in higher education. We also have a graduate feeder program which pays for FAMU students with a 3.0 GPA or higher to go to certain grad, medical or law schools,” says FAMU’s president Frederick S. Humphries.
Perhaps no public higher education system has faced as much scrutiny and vilification as the University of California. Comprised of eight campuses in different parts of the state, the UC system is considered to be the elite level in California’s educational system. But the advent of the anti-affirmativ action initiative known as Proposition 209 decimated what little there was of any formal inclusion efforts directed specifically to minorities . What resulted was a steep drop in acceptances, and in the number of students applying this included those who were admitted and ultimately decided not to enroll. Henry and Catherine Josephs of San Diego said they’d prepared their 18-year-old son Reggie to be rejected by the UC system in the wake of Prop 209’s passage, although he had a 3.65 GPA and scored 1180 on his SATs. “That’s when I decided that I couldn’t just rely on my GPA and SAT scores,” the younger Josephs says. “I had to have more leadership and extra curricular activities.”
After deciding to stay in state-there’s no place better than California,” says Josephs -to pursue his ambition of becoming a filmmaker, he applied to UC schools in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego. But he hedged his bets and also applied to Cal State Long Beach, the elite private institution of the University of Southern California, No. 30 on the BLACK ENTERPRISE/DAYSTAR TOP 50 list.
Josephs, now a student at UCLA, was accepted at all except Berkeley, which