Report: Black Enrollment at Calif. Colleges and Universities Remains Low and Flat

Tanu Henry and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

A report the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released last week revealed that Black student enrollment at California’s institutions of higher learning has remained relatively low and flat.

Over the last two decades, for example, the study found that, compared to all other ethnic groups, total Black student enrollment at the University of California (UC) has increased by a minuscule one percentage point.

During that period, Black young adults from 18 to 24 years old accounted for between 7% and 8% of the state’s total population but the number enrolled at UC remained in a disproportionately low range, between 4% and 5%.

White student enrollment at UC decreased the most over that time period from 42% in 2000 to 23% in 2021.

Latino student enrollment at UC increased from 14% to 31% and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) student enrollment remained relatively constant from 39% to 40%. But the AAPI total percentage of AAPI students attending UC remained at almost two times higher than the state’s total population of college-aged AAPI students, which moved from 13% to 15% over that period.

Titled “Student Access,” the report focuses on pathways and barriers to enrollment in higher ed, examines admissions policy, categorizes enrollment by academic specialization, and provides demographic information on students attending California’s private universities and public university systems: California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC).

“The series has two main objectives,” the report’s introduction reads. “The first is to help legislators, staff, and the general public track many of the key changes that higher education has undergone over the past few decades,” it continues. “The second is to help legislators and staff leverage their better understanding of the past to aid them in better navigating the future.”

According to the LAO, the report highlights priorities it recommends members of the Legislature to consider in their decision-making around the budget or higher education policy.

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