Washington State University Looks to Increase Black Enrollments

Blacks are only 2.6 percent of the student body at Washington State University in Pullman, which is in the easternmost part of the state near its border with Idaho. But in view of the fact that blacks make up only 3.2 percent of the state's population and that almost all blacks in the state live in the western part near Seattle, Washington State's record in enrolling black students is not bad.

The University of Washington, in contrast, which is located in Seattle where the K-12 public school system is 22 percent black, has a student body that is only 2.9 percent black.

Washington State University has made a concerted effort to bring black students to the Pullman campus. It has hired an admissions officer whose sole responsibility is to recruit black students in the western part of the state. The university is employing black alumni and black faculty members in an effort to reach out to prospective students.

The university has also implemented financial aid, counseling, and other retention programs to help black students who enroll on the Pullman campus.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.