A new report from the Stanford Center for Educational Policy Analysis explores the association between Black students’ college enrollment and the number of reports of hate crimes in the state in which the college or university is located and at the particular educational institution.
The researchers examined a comprehensive dataset of institutional enrollment and characteristics, reported hate crimes, and Census data on state racial demographics from 1999 to 2017. They found that an increase in reports of state-level hate crimes predicted a 20 percent increase in Black first-time student enrollment at HBCUs. The authors note that “when examining institution-level reports of hate crimes, an increase in reports of race-based crimes predicts an increase in overall enrollment at HBCUs. It could be that reports of hate crimes at the state level are more salient to students as they make college enrollment decisions, while reports of hate crimes on individual college campuses hold less weight.”
This may be due to the fact that reports of hate crimes in general society are more widely reported in the press than individual hate crimes on a particular college campus.
The authors conclude that “it is important to understand the ways in which an increase in macro-level intolerance and oppression is related to institutional enrollment decisions as a first step to higher education institutions working to actively create welcoming campus environments where all students can thrive while feeling safe.”
The report was co-authored by Dominique J. Baker, an assistant professor of education policy at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Dr. Baker joined the faculty at SMU in 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. Dr. Baker earned a Ph.D. in higher education leadership and policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
The other co-author is Tolani L. Britton, an assistant professor of education at the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the faculty at Berkeley in 2018. Dr. Britton holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She earned master’s degrees in French cultural studies from Columbia University and in secondary mathematics education from the City Univerity of New York. Dr. Britton earned a doctorate in quantitative policy analysis of education from Harvard Univerity.