Black Freshman Enrollments Nearly Triple at Bowdoin College

Many of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities will use the fact that they are located in rural areas far from black population centers as an excuse for low black enrollments. But don’t count Bowdoin College among this group.

Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, is very far from southern states where more than half of the nation’s black population resides. It is also far from the predominantly black urban centers of the Middle Atlantic and the Midwest.

Yet this fall there are 42 black freshmen at Bowdoin who make up 8.8 percent of the entering class. This ranks Bowdoin in fifth place among the 30 highest-ranking liberal arts colleges in the annual JBHE survey of black enrollments at these institutions.

Furthermore, the number of black freshmen at Bowdoin increased from 15 in 2006 to 42 this year, a remarkable increase of 180 percent.