Penn State Showing Progress in Black Enrollments

With all the bad news swirling around Pennsylvania State University the last few days that culminated with the firing of the university’s president and legendary head football coach, here is something more positive to report.

Penn State reports that 5,781 black students are enrolled at the university this fall. They make up 6 percent of all students. This is up from 5.5 percent from a year ago and 5.0 percent from 2009. A decade ago, blacks were 4.4 percent of all Penn State students. Despite the improvement, there is still work to be done. Blacks make up more than 10 percent of the college-age population in Pennsylvania.

There are 1,866 black students at the flagship campus in University Park. They make up 4.1 percent of the student body. This is up from 3.8 percent a year ago.

Blacks are 8 percent of the 32,928 students at the so-called Commonwealth campuses of Penn State spread throughout the state. And blacks make up 6 percent of all students in what Penn State calls its World Campus. This group, numbering about 10,300 students, is made up of distance education students.

There are 33 black students at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. They make up 5.2 percent of the students at the law school.

The 28 black students at the Penn State College of Medicine make up 3.6 percent of all students.

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