At Last, the University of Chicago Is Making a Concerted Effort to Recruit Black Students

The University of Chicago has a rich history in providing educational opportunities for African Americans at the graduate level. But in recent years, black undergraduate enrollments at the University of Chicago have usually lagged those of the university’s peer institutions by a large margin.

However, this fall there are 81 black freshmen at the University of Chicago. This is an increase of more than 52 percent from a year ago. This year, blacks are 6.4 percent of the entering class, up from 4.9 percent a year ago.

Dean of Admissions Ted O’Neill told JBHE that “for the first time, we hosted an overnight for black students in the fall. Not only did we have the chance to spend time with the overnight visitors, but our own students became more involved with the recruitment effort.”

Dean O’Neill also noted that the new Collegiate Scholars program at Chicago’s public schools is now producing qualified recruits. The program includes 60 students who complete a three-year academic preparation course during the school year and over summers. Collegiate Scholars are eligible for five full-tuition scholarships that the University of Chicago gives out each year to graduates of this program.