The Hechinger Report recently produced a report on African-American and Latino in-state student enrollment trends at public flagship campuses. The results were a dismal showing of disparities between the kind of access black students have at large, publicly funded research institutions.
But if racial disparities exist in such great numbers at PWIs, where are black students enrolling? A few hundred students at flagship PWIs doesn’t match demographic data for most states, and fall short of high school graduation trends.
Not surprisingly, historically black colleges appear to offer an antidote. A review of total black first-year student enrollment in 2015 at the five worst flagship institutions listed in the Hechinger Report study, along with corresponding data from public HBCUs in the same states, reveals that some states’ largest black colleges are granting access to in-state and out-state-black first-year students at far greater rates than predominantly white colleges with far greater resources for scholarships, student support, and program offerings.
2015 African American First-Year Freshmen Enrollment (Total Students)
Jackson State University – 1,147
Alcorn State University- 566
University of Mississippi – 388
Mississippi Valley State University – 336
South Carolina State University – 481
University of South Carolina – 296
Savannah State University – 838
Albany State University – 448
University of Georgia – 395
Fort Valley State University – 392
Southern University – 1,102
Louisiana State University – 752
Grambling State University – 576
Delaware State University – 678
University of Delaware – 250
So with every negative HBCU narrative about graduation rates, academic rigor, racial separatism and HBCU relevance; with every parent who insists that a child attend a PWI, or every black student compelled to spend money and talent at a white campus to make white students more comfortable with black excellence; remember the numbers which reveal which institutions value which kind of students.