Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop: Fears of Further Declines in Black Enrollments at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas

In 2005 students who sought admission to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas were required to have posted a 2.5 grade point average or above while in high school. At that time, blacks made up about 8 percent of the 22,000 undergraduate students at the university.

In the fall of 2006, the admission threshold was raised to 2.75. Students who had not achieved a 2.75 grade point average in high school were no longer eligible for admission to UNLV. As a result, black freshman enrollments plummeted 30 percent in 2006 compared to a year earlier.

Now the regents of the University of Nevada have decided to go ahead with a plan to raise the admission threshold to 3.0 for next year’s entering class. Many proponents of increasing higher educational opportunities for African Americans believe that the new threshold will result in further reductions in black enrollments at the university.

The new admissions standards will also be enforced at the University of Nevada at Reno. However, the impact is not expected to do much damage. Blacks make up a very small 2 percent of the total enrollments at the Reno campus.