A Tale of Two Technology Titans and Their Black Enrollments

CalTech and MIT are the nation’s two most prestigious universities where the main academic focus is on various fields of science and technology. In academic rankings CalTech and MIT are tied in fourth place among all national universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report survey. Only Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford received higher rankings than these two institutes of technology.

Located on opposite coasts of the United States, MIT and CalTech couldn’t be further apart in terms of black enrollments. According to the latest Department of Education data, blacks make up 5.8 percent of the total enrollments at MIT but only 0.8 percent of all undergraduates at CalTech.

In this year’s entering class, the annual JBHE survey of black freshmen shows 81 blacks among the first-year students at MIT but there are only three black freshmen at CalTech. Blacks make up over 8 percent of all first-year students at MIT. At CalTech, blacks make up 1.4 percent of the entering class.

Over the past 13 years since JBHE began its annual survey of black freshmen at the nation’s leading universities, on four occasions there have been no blacks at all in the entering class at CalTech.