Black Freshmen in the Ivy League: Columbia Far Out in Front; Brown Leaps From Last to Second; and Princeton Is at the Bottom

Data from the 18th annual JBHE survey of black freshman students at high-ranking colleges and universities shows that, once again, Columbia University in New York City is far ahead of its seven Ivy League rivals. This fall there are 202 first-year black students on the Columbia campus. They make up 14.5 percent of all freshman students. This is the largest percentage of black freshmen at a high-ranking university in the history of the JBHE survey. The number of black freshmen at Columbia is up 6.3 percent from a year ago.

Brown University ranks second in the Ivy League with a freshman class that is 9.7 percent black. The number of black freshmen at Brown this year is up a whopping 57 percent from a year ago. In 2009, Brown ranked last in the Ivy League in percentage of blacks in its first-year class.

Elizabeth Hart, director of minority recruitment in the Brown University office of admissions, told JBHE that the improvement was the result of “a lot of hard work by the admissions staff as well as from undergraduate students and alumni. Some new outreach initiatives and attempts to grow contacts with prospective students paid off.”

Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania also had freshman classes that were at least 9 percent black. At Yale, 8.4 percent of all freshmen are black this fall.

Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton are at the bottom of the Ivy League in black freshman enrollments.