Among the Nation’s Leading Liberal Arts Institutions, Williams College Has the Highest Percentage of Black Student Enrollments

In the October 5 issue, JBHE reported U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the most racially diverse liberal arts colleges. Now JBHE narrows the focus and ranks the liberal arts colleges by their percentages of black enrollments.

There are currently 206 liberal arts colleges nationwide that draw their students from across the country and are rated in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of U.S. colleges and universities. Eleven historically black colleges and universities are among this group of ranked liberal arts colleges. As expected, in 2005 the 11 black colleges had the highest percentages of black enrollments. All had student bodies that are at least 91 percent black.

Among the predominantly white liberal arts colleges, Pine Manor College in Chesnut Hill, Massachusetts, had the largest percentage of blacks in its student body with 42.2 percent. Pine Manor is a women’s college. Wesleyan College in Georgia and Rosemont College in Pennsylvania are the only other liberal arts colleges where black enrollments were 25 percent or more of the total student body. Four other liberal arts colleges had a student body that was more than 20 percent black.

Among the nation’s highest academically ranked liberal arts colleges, in 2004 Williams College in Massachusetts had the highest percentage of black enrollments at 9.6 percent. Amherst College is the only other top-ranking liberal arts college at which blacks made up at least 9 percent of the student body.

Of the 206 liberal arts colleges on this list, 36 had a student body that was less than 2 percent black. Blacks were less than 1 percent of all students at eight nationally ranked liberal arts colleges.

Among the most academically selective liberal arts colleges, Harvey Mudd College had the lowest percentage of black students.