The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education has released the results of its annual survey measuring Black enrollment in elite colleges and universities. I mostly looked at the Liberal Arts College data, primarily because I was curious how Carleton is doing. The answer is, we're getting better, but are still mid-bottom of the pack with a 5.9% Black incoming freshman class for 08-09. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the fact that we're located in God Forgot Me, Minnesota.* But that excuse only gets you so far: Williams is ranked second amongst LACs (10.4%) even though its in Even More Isolated Than Northfield, Massachusetts.
But that's not what caught my eye. The article, among other things, lets you compare the acceptance rates for Black applicants versus the pool at large. The plurality of schools had higher acceptance rates for Black students: Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Wellesley, Haverford, Pomona, Bowdoin, Wesleyan, Bates, Grinnell, Carleton, Claremont McKenna, Middlebury, and Colby.
At several schools, the proportions were more or less the same (within 3 percentage points): Trinity, Davidson, Oberlin, Colgate, Hamilton, Washington & Lee, and Harvey Mudd.
But quite a few schools were less likely to admit Black applicants than the average student: Bryn Mawr, Smith, Lafayette, Barnard, Macalester, and Bucknell. In some cases, the gap was extremely stark: 10 points at Bucknell and Smith, over 15 at Bryn Mawr. Worthy of note: three of these schools (Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Barnard) are all-women's colleges (three of the four on the list). I'm not sure what that means, but it sticks out.
* I learned to love and cherish Northfield in my time at Carleton, but even I'll tell you that it was not exactly what I envisioned when I thought about the type of town I wanted to spend four years in.