Are Black Colleges Becoming Whiter?

Enrollments at the nation's historically black colleges and universities remain at the highest level in history. According to U.S. Department of Education data, there were 322,789 students enrolled at HBCUs in 2009, the latest year complete data is available. Enrollments increased 3 percent from 2008 to 2009 and are up 17 percent since the turn of the century.

In 2009 women made up 61 percent of all enrollments at HBCUs. In 2000, women were 60.7 percent of total enrollments. So there was only a miniscule increase in the gender gap in HBCU enrollments during the first decade of the century.

Of the 322,789 students enrolled in HBCUs, 264,090, or 81.8 percent, are black. In 2000, blacks made up 82.4 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs. As far back at 1980, blacks were 81.8 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs, the same percentage that exists today. Yes, there are HBCUs which have significantly increased their white enrollments. But, despite numerous press reports to the contrary, in general the "whitening of black colleges" is simply a myth.