Diversity University

Racial diversity among first-year students is increasing at Ivy League institutions and other high-ranking, predominantly white colleges and universities.

The number of first-year African American students for the 2005–2006 academic year increased at universities such as Vanderbilt, Princeton, and Columbia, according to “The Progress of Black Student Enrollments at the Nation’s Highest-Ranked Colleges and Universities,” a study by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Of the 30 institutions supplying data, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed the highest percentage of African Americans among its first-year students at 11.1%, a 3% increase from 2004. At Princeton, blacks constituted more than 9.4% of first-year students, a more than 38% increase over the last year and the highest of any Ivy League university.

Bruce Slater, the journal’s managing editor, says such significant gains are due to a combined effort by the institutions and the students. “The competition for top black students is very keen among these schools. Also, more and more black kids are taking advanced courses in high school and looking to apply to top colleges.”

Several schools had poor enrollment of African American students. Only one black student was accepted at the California Institute of Technology in 2005, unchanged from the year prior.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education has been conducting this survey since 1994. Over that time, the University of California, Berkeley has seen the most substantial drop in African American students (-39.7%). Vanderbilt University has seen the most significant growth (91.4%).

Admission of African Americans at Ivy League Universities, Fall 2005
Black Freshman Enrollment at the Nation’s Highest-Ranked Universities