Enrollment of students of color grows at private colleges
The number of undergraduate students of color enrolled this past fall at Minnesota’s Private Colleges reached more than 7,200 — an increase of 4.7% over the previous year. This continues a long-term trend; over the last 10 years the number of students of color enrolled at our colleges has doubled. And students of color make up an increasing share of the student population — that share has grown over 10 years from 9.5% to 18.6%. (These numbers exclude international students and students of unknown race/ethnicity.)
Students of color make up a greater proportion of new undergraduates; in fall 2013, 20.6% were students of color.
One factor driving this change is growth in the minority population in the U.S. Intentional efforts from colleges and universities play a role too. “Many of us have expanded our missions, set goals and provided support through programs and services to create a welcoming and inclusive environment,” said Cheryl Chatman, dean of diversity at Concordia University, St. Paul. “This has had positive effects on the recruitment and retention of students of color.”
The increase of students of color at private colleges is a win-win situation for everyone, Chatman believes. “Providing every student with an equal opportunity to pursue his or her dream is a moral imperative — and there are benefits for students, institutions, communities and the nation.”
Growth in undergrad enrollment has measured 6.8% over the last 10 years at our member institutions. That growth has been driven by growing numbers of students of color. During this same period there’s been a 4.3% drop in white students (with a 1,387 student drop).