Texas A&M Toots Its Own Horn on Racial Diversity But There’s Not Much to Celebrate

A headline in The Battalion, the student newspaper at Texas A&M University, reads “Enrollment, Diversity Up at Texas A&M.” When we read further we find that there are 1,419 black students enrolled on campus this year, which would seem to the casual reader a large number.

But when you do the math, you find that these 1,419 black students make up only 3 percent of the entire student body at Texas A&M. Further investigation finds that although overall enrollments are up by more than 1,200 students this year, the number of black students on campus is down. There are 17 fewer African-American freshmen this year than in 2006.

The positive diversity figures talked about in the newspaper headline are the result of a record number of Hispanic students on campus. There are nearly 5,300 Hispanic students at the university, making up 11.4 percent of the student body.

Blacks make up 11.5 percent of the population in Texas and Hispanics are 32 percent of the population. So each group holds about one third as many places at Texas A&M as would be the case if population parity prevailed. Texas A&M is a state-operated university.