Ohio State Takes Effective Steps to Increase Black Enrollments

The 2003 Supreme Court decision in the Gratz case ruled that the point-based admissions system at the University of Michigan was unconstitutional. The system assigned black applicants 20 points out of 100 needed for admission.

Ohio State University had a similar point-based system as the one used at the University of Michigan. As a result of the Gratz ruling, Ohio State changed its admissions procedures, and black enrollments dropped significantly.

After the drop in black enrollments occurred, the admissions office made a concerted effort to recruit black students. Radio advertisements were run on black-oriented music stations in urban areas. Admissions officials increased their visits to predominantly black high schools. And an extensive mailing campaign was conducted to prospective black students.

Another facet of the effort was the publication of a diversity report by the Office of Minority Affairs. The colorful, professionally designed brochure offers prospective students information about multicultural groups on campus, curricula and research dealing with minority-related topics, diversity-related resources on the OSU campus, and facts about minority group members at the university.

Black first-year enrollments were up 5 percent this year. African Americans are now 7.7 percent of the student body at Ohio State.