Black Student Acceptance Rates at Top-Ranked Liberal Arts Colleges

Last week JBHE reported that many of the nation’s leading research universities continue to be reluctant to disclose data on their black student acceptance rates. But the results of the 2010 JBHE survey of incoming black students show that the top-ranked liberal arts colleges are more forthcoming with information on the subject. In fact, Williams College in Massachusetts was the only leading liberal arts college in the JBHE annual survey that declined to divulge its black student acceptance rate.

This year’s data shows that at 15 of the 27 schools supplying data, the black student acceptance rate was higher than the rate for all students. In some cases the discrepancy was quite large. For example, at Amherst College, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, Claremont McKenna College, Bowdoin College, and Middlebury College, the black acceptance rate was about double the rate for all students who applied. At Middlebury more than 41 percent of black applicants were accepted for admission. Only 19.2 percent of all applicants were granted admission.

On the other hand, black students who applied to Bryn Mawr College, Smith College, Lafayette College, and Bucknell University were significantly less likely to be admitted than applicants generally.