Amherst College in Massachusetts again boasted the highest percentage of Black first-year students among the nation’s liberal arts colleges this year, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.
At Amherst College, 18.2 percent of this year’s freshman class is Black, the seventh time in the past eight years that the institution has led the nation’s liberal arts college in African-American enrollment. . Following Amherst College this year was Pomona College at 14.5 percent and Williams College at 13.1 percent.
The Journal report also tracked recent gains and declines in admission rates of Black first-year students at liberal arts schools from 2014 to 2015. Harvey Mudd College had the highest percentage increase in that period, with the number of Black freshman at the college climbing from 12 in 2014 to 28 this year, a 133.3 percent increase. Trinity College was second in recent gains at 60 percent and Haverford College was third with a 56.5 percent increase.
Schools that had significant declines in Black first-year students from 2014 to 2015 include Vassar College, Barnard College, Macalester College and Claremont McKenna College. Claremont McKenna College saw the biggest drop in Black freshmen from 2014 to 2015 with a 35 percent decline.
U.S. Department of Education race data does not count students who identify as biracial or multiracial as being Black. However, in its studies, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education considers any student that is biracial, multiracial or from Africa to count as Black, and continues to ask colleges and universities to include all students who self-identify as having African heritage.