Northeastern University Opens Ujima Scholarship Program to Whites

In past years, the Ujima Scholars program at Northeastern University in Boston was used to admit about 65 students of African descent who had academic potential but did not meet traditional criteria for admission into their intended majors. The program provided financial aid; course advising; academic instruction in reading, writing, and study skills; tutorial assistance; and other resources for black students whom the university believed were at risk of dropping out of college.

Now the Ujima Scholars program is open to students of all races. Despite the fact that Northeastern University is a privately operated institution, its legal counsel appears to be of the opinion that the blacks-only scholarship program could present legal problems for the university. Now the Ujima Scholars program will target urban students of all races.

In addition to opening the program to whites, the number of students accepted into the program will be reduced to a maximum of 40. But those students who are accepted into the program will receive additional financial aid.

Many black students at Northeastern fear that opening the program to whites will decrease the number of African-American students on campus. At the present time, about 6.1 percent of the 18,000-member undergraduate student body at Northeastern University is black.