Skip to comments.UF Admissions of Minorities Rise [More good news for Jeb's One Florida plan]
Posted on 04/13/2002 5:39:10 PM PDT by summer
As Gov. Bush was announcing the Early Reading
component of Just Read, FL!, more good news was
announced about One FL -- UF's increase in minority enrollment.
UF Admissions of Minorities Rise
By Carrie Miller
GAINESVILLE -- University of Florida admissions of black and Hispanic students are higher than this time last year, inspiring "guarded optimism" from university officials that more minorities will show up and enroll.
"It looks pretty encouraging," Provost David Colburn told the UF board of trustees Friday.
Increasing diversity has been a top priority at UF ever since the state banned the use of racial preferences in university admissions in 2000. Beginning with last fall's freshman class -- the first year the ban's effects were felt at UF -- minority enrollment dropped precipitously despite efforts to prevent it from happening.
As of March 28, UF had accepted 1,120 black tudents for next year -- a 13 percent increase over the same time last year. Hispanic student admissions were up about 6 percent over last year, with 1,445 admitted this year compared with 1,359 last year.
But admitting qualified minority students has not, by and large, been UF's problem. It's getting them to show up and enroll.
Less than half of the black students UF admitted last year chose to attend, as compared with 70 percent of whites, trustee Manny Fernandez said.
Competition from Yale, Duke, Harvard and other top schools is fierce for top minority students, Fernandez explained.
"The reality is," Fernandez said, "when you're talking about a 4.1 grade-point average and a 1300 SAT, these kids can go anywhere they want to go."
Despite the increased admissions, "I'm still a little hesitant to declare victory," UF President Charles Young said.
He noted that applications are up all around the country, perhaps because more students are applying to multiple schools.
"Even if our best hopes materialize and a larger number of those students enroll, we're still short of where we want to be," Young said.
To try to maintain its minority numbers, UF has implemented a host of recruitment and outreach efforts, "adopted" five inner-city high schools and added an essay to its application to help identify students who are the first in their family to attend college, among other traits more common to minorities.
This year, trustees are planning to make calls and write notes to accepted minority students and their families.
"I compare this to the last two weeks of recruiting season for college sports," Fernandez said. "Right now, it's all about reaching out to these kids and their families and letting them know how great it would be to be a Florida Gator."
In engineering programs and honors programs, they would be at the bottom end and struggling to pass.