Berkeley’s Ongoing Struggle With Black Enrollments

It has now been more than a decade that the University of California at Berkeley has been prohibited by state law from considering race in its admissions decisions. Despite increased outreach efforts and a new holistic admissions procedure that takes in an applicant’s entire life experience, not just grades and SAT scores, the number of black students at Berkeley hovers near about one half the level that existed prior to the ban on race-sensitive admissions.

In fact, the latest data shows that the number of new black freshmen at Berkeley is the lowest level since 2004. There are 129 black freshman students on the Berkeley campus this year, down from 146 a year ago. Blacks make up 3.2 percent of this year’s freshman class.

There are 923 blacks enrolled as undergraduates on the Berkeley campus. They make up 3.6 percent of the undergraduate student body. There are 330 black graduate students at Berkeley. They comprise 3.2 percent of the graduate student population.