Blacks on Campus

September 6, 1972

Report Outline
Growing black presence in academia
Black Higher Education in Transition
Outlook for Survival of Negro Colleges
Special Focus

Growing black presence in academia

Impressive Gains of Black Enrollment in College

The Spectacular growth in enrollment of Negroes in higher education in the United States over the past half-dozen years may well be the most significant of all the achievements to date of the black revolution. The Census Bureau calculates that the number of black undergraduates in American colleges and universities tripled between 1965 and 1971. Whether or not the 1972–73 academic year will show a tapering off of this growth, as some believe it will, an over-all trend seems firmly established. More blacks are likely to be pressing for college admission in the future, and the nation's institutions of higher education will be responding increasingly to their needs and demands.

The Census Bureau survey, based on a sampling of households across the country, is considered inflated by some analysts. It is nevertheless indicative of a trend. Other studies are equally impressive. A survey of more than 1,000 institutions conducted by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education showed the enrollment of blacks markedly higher in 1971 than in 1970, despite a slowdown in over-all student growth. The author of the report concluded that despite the general slackening, “minority students registered impressive gains in the total higher education system.”

A cooling note is sounded, however, in an American Council on Education study, The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1971. It reported that the percentage of blacks in the freshman class was lower (6.3) in 1971 than in 1970 (9.1). The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, on the other hand, reported a 13.7 per cent increase of blacks entering college. Black enrollment is affected by some of the same forces as white enrollment. Both go up in response to the availability of student financial assistance, but both are likely to slow down in response to rises in tuition, shortages of student jobs, family reverses due to unemployment and the drying up of some student aid.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Segregation and Desegregation
Apr. 23, 2004  School Desegregation
Oct. 18, 1996  Rethinking School Integration
Feb. 24, 1995  Housing Discrimination
Dec. 26, 1975  Busing Reappraisal
May 03, 1974  Desegregation After 20 Years
Aug. 24, 1973  Educational Equality
Sep. 06, 1972  Blacks on Campus
Mar. 01, 1972  School Busing and Politics
Aug. 16, 1967  Open Housing
Apr. 29, 1964  School Desegregation: 1954–1964
Feb. 06, 1963  Interracial Housing
Aug. 27, 1958  School Integration: Fifth Year
Jan. 15, 1958  Residential Desegregation
Oct. 16, 1957  Legal Processes in Race Relations
Oct. 17, 1956  Enforcement of School Integration
Jan. 12, 1955  School Desegregation
Sep. 03, 1954  Segregation in Churches
Oct. 08, 1952  Race Segregation
Nov. 07, 1947  Negro Segregation
Civil Rights: African Americans
Segregation and Desegregation
Undergraduate and Graduate Education