Princeton University Makes Progress in Recruiting Black Graduate Students

Princeton University has made tremendous progress increasing the number of black undergraduate students on campus. This past academic year, there were 95 black first-year students on campus, making up nearly 8 percent of the freshman class. Princeton’s highly regarded black studies program has been a tremendous draw for college-bound black students. Also, Princeton has been a leader in establishing financial aid initiatives to draw more black students to the university.

But Princeton has struggled to attract blacks to its many graduate programs. In a typical year, blacks have made up between 2 percent and 3 percent of all graduate students at Princeton. Karen Jackson-Weaver, who was hired in 2007 as associate dean of academic affairs and diversity at the graduate school, has made a concerted effort to increase recruiting of black and minority students.

Statistics show that Dean Jackson-Weaver’s efforts are beginning to pay off. The number of black applicants to all of Princeton’s graduate programs has increased from 172 in 2005 to 252 this spring, an increase of 46.5 percent. However, there is much work that still needs to be done. This year only 2.5 percent of all applicants to Princeton’s graduate programs are black.