Purdue University’s Black Recruitment Efforts Hampered by Inadequate Funds for Scholarships

Blacks make up only 4 percent of the 33,000-member undergraduate student body at Purdue University, a state-operated educational institution in West Lafayette, Indiana. The black enrollment figures are particularly discouraging considering that the university is located just an hour from Indianapolis and two hours from the large black population center of Chicago.

Purdue University officials cite an intense competition for highly qualified black students from Indiana University, Notre Dame, and top-tier colleges and universities in nearby states.

But probably the most important factor is money. Mary Sadowski, director of undergraduate programs at Purdue’s College of Technology, told the Lafayette Journal and Courier: “If you have an African-American son or daughter who is very bright, they are going to get scholarships. It wasn’t that we didn’t offer them anything. It was just that some other university offered them more.”