Thursday, March 8, 2018

Common Data Set Comparisons Of First-Year, Non-Hispanic White Enrollment At Elite Private and Large Public Universities

Most, but not all, universities and colleges report information about their schools on a Common Data Set form.  Some reports are several years old, most notably Harvard.

The following information is taken from Table B2 on enrollment by race and ethnicity for fall 2017 (a few for 2016).  The data on non-Hispanic White, first-year, first-time enrollment include all private schools in the top 25 national universities (U.S. News and World Report Annual Ranking) for which numbers are available, and compares them with a selection of state universities.

For purposes of comparison, non-Hispanic Whites constituted 61.3% of the US population in July 2017.

Private Universities (Percent non-Hispanic White)

Princeton         43.8%     (2011, 49.4%)
Yale                 42.1       (2011, 46.9)
Pennsylvania    42.0       (2011, 43.2)
MIT                  32.1       (2011, 36.9)
Stanford           33.7       (2011, 34.3)
Vanderbilt        41.9       (2011, 62.8)
Dartmouth        49.2       (2011, 46.5)
Cornell             36.3       (2011, 41.6)
Northwestern    44.5       (2011, 55.2)
Rice                  35.9       (2011, 39.7)
Duke                 45.2       (2011, 49.9)
Notre Dame       67.2       (2011, 73.7)
USC                   40.5       (2011, 37.7)
Carnegie-Mell    27.6       (2011, 43.3)

Public Universities  (Percent non-Hispanic White)

Wisconsin          71.6%
Michigan            60.5
Ohio State         70.0
Nebraska           76.9
Kentucky           75.3
Tennessee         65.3
Georgia             68.0
Mississippi         79.7
Texas                40.2
Virginia             59.6
North Carolina   61.6
California          23.0      (2011, 29.0)  (2000, 39.0)  All Campuses

A few comments on the data.  Only Notre Dame still has a White majority in its first-year class.  Vanderbilt, Northwestern, and Carnegie Mellon have experienced reductions in first-year White enrollment of 19%, 10.7%, and 15.7% respectively.  White enrollment in seven others has fallen by 4-5% between 2011 and 2017, indicating very aggressive recruitment of non-White students.  Only four have experienced a minor or no reduction in White enrollment.  It is a point of pride and good public relations among almost all elite private universities that Whites have become a minority.

Every public university in the above list, save California and Texas, have White first-year enrollment at about or above the White share of the national population.  California and Texas have much higher shares of Asians and Hispanics than their national averages.

The private universities listed above are very competitive with admission rates ranging between 5-17%.  These schools can structure racial and ethnic composition of their student bodies as they choose.  Moreover, most offer substantial financial assistance to low-income households.  The same highly competitive admit-to-applicant ratio does not hold for public universities.

Reflecting the ethnic/racial transformation of undergraduate enrollment at the top private universities is the current emphasis on recruitment and retention of minority (and women faculty) and postdocs (the pipeline of future faculty) to better reflect the gains in undergraduate enrollment.  It will take some time before supply catches up with demand.

Elite universities view themselves as leaders, role models and trend setters in higher education.  As their model of greater minority and female faculty expand to more and more universities and colleges, current and future minority and women graduate students and postdocs will enjoy a very favorable job market for years to come.

1 comment :

Norma said...

In the 18-25 age group, whites are a much lower percentage of the population, so basing college enrollment demographics on the total racial make-up of the country, is misleading.