More Black students enroll in HBCUs following hate crime reports: study

by Jeremy

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Incidents of hate and bias ratcheted up on campuses nationwide in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, reports show. The study notes that the racial hatred across the country has been well-documented, “little is known” about how it affects enrollment patterns.  “In light of the current president and the rhetoric, we wanted to explore the different types of choices where students are going to enroll in college,” said Dominique Baker, an education policy professor at Southern Methodist University and report co-author.


She and co-author Tolani Britton, a University of California, Berkeley, education professor, drew on federal enrollment and campus crime statistics and hate crime information collected by the FBI from 1999 to 2017. It excludes for-profit institutions, as they enroll large shares of online learners. They discovered that enrollment of first-time Black students climbed at HBCUs and fell at non-HBCUs in states where hate crime reports increased.

Baker said they wanted to be upfront about the data’s limitations. Many incidents have likely gone unreported, and the way hate crimes are classified is inconsistent. For instance, the report used data collected under the Clery Act, which mandates that colleges collect and publicize crimes occurring on and around their campuses. Many institutions have messed up their Clery reporting, however.

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