High-Ranking Colleges Where Black Students Must Be Able to Swim

African Americans account for about 40 percent of all drowning fatalities in the nation’s urban areas each year. It is generally believed that this occurs because many black youngsters never learn how to swim.

But for black students seeking higher education at Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell, and several other high-ranking universities, the ability to swim remains a requirement for graduation. Freshmen entering these and other top-rated institutions are given a swim test. At Cornell about 10 percent of the entering freshman class admit that they do not know how to swim. They are required to take a beginner’s swimming class. Other students are given a test where they must swim 75 yards. Those who are unable to do so are also required to take swimming lessons.

Other high-ranking schools with a swimming requirement are MIT, Bryn Mawr, Hamilton, Notre Dame, Davidson, and Washington and Lee University.