The Progress of the Ivy League in Admitting Black Students

ivy-league-tuitionThe complete JBHE Annual Survey of Black First-Year Student at America’s Leading Research Universities will be published on this website soon. But here is a sneak preview of the performance of the eight Ivy League institutions in enrolling Black students in this year’s entering class.

For the past 10 years, Columbia University in New York City has enrolled the highest percentage of Black students in its entering class among the eight Ivy League schools. This year is no exception. There are 174 Black first-year students at Columbia this fall. They make up 12.4 percent of the entering class.

Unlike in some of the past 10 years, Columbia’s lead is very small this fall. There are 304 Black students in the entering class at the University of Pennsylvania. They make up 12.2 percent of the first year class. At Yale, Black students are 12 percent of the first-year class.

Harvard University has a record high percentage of Black students in its first-year class. Yet it ranks fourth in the Ivy League with an entering class that is 11.3 percent Black.

Cornell University and Brown University both have entering classes that are more than 9 percent Black. Ranking at the bottom of the Ivy League are Dartmouth and Princeton. Blacks are 7.9 percent of the first-year students at Dartmouth and 7.8 percent of the first year students at Princeton.

The progress of the Ivy League school over the past decade in admitting Black students has been impressive. In 2006, Columbia University had the highest percentage of Black first-year students at 9.6 percent. This year five of the eight Ivy League schools had reached the 9.6 percent threshold or higher. A decade ago, the lowest percentage of Blacks in an entering class was 5.9 percent. This year it is 7.8 percent.

A decade ago, there were 1,110 Black students in the entering classes at the eight Ivy League schools. In 2016, there are 1,503, a 35 percent increase.

This year, not one of the eight Ivy League schools had a smaller number of Black students in its entering class than was the case a year ago. At the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Princeton University, the number of Black students in the entering class increased by more than 10 percent.

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