Seven Top-Ranked Universities Show a Decline in Black First-Year Enrollments Over the Past Decade

In the 1997 to 2007 period, seven of the nation’s 25 highest-ranked universities showed a decrease in black first-year enrollments. At some of the universities such as Stanford and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the declines were quite small. Nevertheless, considering that the vast majority of high-ranking universities showed impressive advances during the period, the declines at these universities are discouraging.

Three of the seven universities that have seen a decline in black first-year enrollments are now banned by law from using race as a positive factor in their admissions decisions. In 1997 affirmative action was permitted at all three campuses.

The most severe decline was at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1997, the last year in which race was considered in admissions decisions, there were 273 black freshmen at Berkeley. In the current academic year, only 133 black freshmen enrolled at Berkeley.