High-Ranking Liberal Arts Colleges That Made the Most Progress in Increasing Black Freshman Enrollments in 2010

Last week JBHE unveiled the results of our annual survey on black freshman students at the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. The survey showed that for the fourth year in a row Amherst College in western Massachusetts had the highest percentage of black freshmen among the 30 highest-ranked liberal arts colleges.

Now we examine which liberal arts colleges posted the biggest gains this year compared to a year ago. In 2010 there are 36 black freshmen at Colby College in Maine. This is double the number from a year ago. In 2008 there were only eight black freshmen at Colby. Over the past two years the percentage of blacks in the entering class at Colby has increased from 1.7 percent to 7.3 percent.

Oberlin College in Ohio also made impressive progress. This fall there are 67 black freshmen at Oberlin compared to 39 a year ago. Harvey Mudd College, Amherst College, and Colgate University also posted gains greater than 50 percent in black freshmen this year.

The largest decline in black freshmen was at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. There are 31 blacks in the entering class at Bucknell this fall compared to 43 a year ago.