The University Record, November 19, 1996

Minority enrollment figures reach highest numbers ever

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

Minority student enrollment at the U-M is at an all-time high, even though overall enrollment is down slightly from last year, according to fall enrollment figures released today.

Students of color now number 8,209, or 25.4 percent of all students, up from last year's total of 8,108, or 24.8 percent of total enrollment. This year's figure is more than twice the total of minority students enrolled in 1986, the year before the Michigan Mandate was established to increase minority enrollment.

"The University of Michigan’s stature is in large measure a reflection of the outstanding scholars we attract," says interim President Homer A. Neal. "I am proud that we continue to attract a growing number of outstanding minority students. It is vitally important that we sustain our strong commitment to meeting the goals of the Mandate and the means to achieve those goals in full comportment with the law, in the face of public challenges from various quarters.

"My successor, Lee Bollinger, assumes leadership of this University at a most critical juncture; I have every confidence that, with his leadreship, we will move forward, dedicated in our efforts to build an inclusive and nurturing community for an increasingly diverse student population."

For the sixth straight year, enrollment of African Americans is at a record high. African American students now number 2,870, or 8.9 percent of total enrollment, compared with 2,846, or 8.7 percent, last year.

Asian American students, who make up the largest segment of minority enrollment, now total 3,642, or 11.3 percent of the student body, up from 3,519, or 10.8 percent, last year. This represents the largest gain---a 3.5 percent increase---among minority groups over last year.

Hispanic/Latino student enrollment fell slightly to 1,471, or 4.5 percent of all students, from 1,498, or 4.6 percent, last year.

Enrollment for Native American students also dropped slightly to 226, or 0.7 percent of total students enrolled, from 245, or 0.7 percent, last year.

Minority students now comprise 26.1 percent (5,892 students) of total undergraduate enrollment, including 2,621 Asian Americans (11.6 percent of undergraduates); 2,072 (9.2 percent) African Americans; 1,034 Hispanic/Latino students (4.6 percent); and 165 Native Americans (0.7 percent).

Graduate and professional programs now enroll 2,317 minority students (23.7 percent of all graduate/professional students). These include 1,021 Asian Americans (10.5 percent), 798 African Americans (8.2 percent), 437 Hispanic/Latino students (4.5 percent) and 61 Native Americans (0.6 percent).

"I'm very pleased by the increase in the number of minority students, but I'm more impressed by the outstanding records of achievement they bring with them," says Lester P. Monts, vice provost for academic and multicultural affairs. "These numbers are a bright reflection on the effectiveness of the Michigan Mandate and the University's commitment to diversity. It is my hope that we continue to attract and retain students rich in both their diversity and their academic achievements."

Although overall student enrollment is 36,525 for 1996--97, minority enrollment figures are based on a total adjusted enrollment count of 32,361 (22,604 undergraduates and 9,757 graduate/professional students). This includes only U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled in degree-granting programs (foreign students are excluded). The racial identity of 1,326 students is unknown.