Harvard University’s minority enrollment is at an all time high compared to England’s Oxford University — arguably the Harvard of the U.K. — with recent figures showing 11.8 percent African-American and 12.1 percent Latino enrollment for the fall 2011 school year. In 2009, Harvard reported 10.8 percent of its students were African American compared to 8.2 percent at Princeton and 7 percent at Yale. And in 2008, African-American students made up 14 percent of US college enrolments.
The Ivy League school credits its extensive outreach program for the steadily increasing minority enrollment. England's former higher education minister David Lammy suggests Harvard’s ethnic enrollment is up because the school contacts every high-achieving minority student in the country. Harvard is known for sending admissions officers to schools in every state each year.
Harvard's minority recruitment is run by a team of undergraduates who manage campus visits and questions about academic life throughout the year. The school has also proven to do a better job at targeting low-income students compared to other Ivy League schools. In 2008-2009, 15 percent of the university’s students received Pell grants; government aid that assists 46 percent of African-American college students each year. Harvard’s lavish endowment and financial aid programs also might have attributed to an increase in minority enrollment. More than 60 percent of Harvard’s incoming students will be receiving an average of $40,000 in need-based scholarships this fall.
Although strides have been made to increase the number of African-Americans enrolled in Ivy League schools, some argue that a one percent increase in two years is nothing to get excited over. Regardless of where you stand, when it comes to blacks and Ivy League education, we can all agree that we could do better.
Read more at the Guardian.
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