Checking the Status of Black Enrollments at the Nation’s Large Research Universities

There are 244 institutions of higher learning in the United States that are classified as national doctoral research institutions. Using total enrollment data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education, JBHE has analyzed the racial and ethnic makeup of the student bodies at these 244 large research universities. Seven of the 244 universities are historically black institutions. All of these seven black universities have a student body that is more than 80 percent black.

When we consider predominantly white universities there is a huge dropoff in black enrollments. The University of Memphis has a student body that is 37.5 percent black, the highest percentage in the nation among the predominantly white research universities. Five other predominantly white research universities have student bodies that are 30 percent or more black. They are Georgia State University, the University of Bridgeport, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Wayne State University, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Eleven other predominantly white universities have a black student body of 20 percent or more. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has the largest percentage of black students among the nation’s highest academically ranked research institutions.

Twenty-eight large research universities have a student body that is less than 2 percent black. Fourteen large universities have a student body that is less than 1 percent black. Yeshiva reports no black undergraduates.