Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
Only 20 percent of African-American applicants were admitted into the University for fall 2013. Members of the African-American Student Advisory Council will meet with Chancellor Woodson today to discuss the alarming data from the office of Institutional Equality and Diversity and University Planning and Analysis.
Marshall Anthony, AASAC Chair, hopes that today’s meeting with the Chancellor will not only shed light on the dismal rate, but also spawn the creation of an action plan for improvement.
“African-American students already represent only 6.8 percent of the N.C. State community, so we really need to make sure this does not become a trend in the future,” said Anthony. “We need to make sure that the University recognizes that this as a problem.”
According to the same data, 35 percent of Hispanic applicants were accepted for fall 2013, while 59.3 percent of Asian applicants and 53 percent of white applicants were accepted to the university.
Assistant Vice-Provost of Student Diversity, Dr. Tracey Ray, shared these percentages with the African-American Student Advisory Council during a presentation on Oct. 4. According to Ray, this year’s acceptance rate for African-American students is particularly alarming considering that in previous years, the acceptance rate has consistently remained closer to 50 percent.
Just as acceptance rates for African-American students has hit an all-time low, so too has their overall enrollment dropped drastically. During the fall semester of 2003, African-American students accounted for 9.8 percent of the student population. Ten years later that percentage has dropped to 6.8 percent.
Still, the graduation and retention rates of African-American students at N.C. State have remained strong. In the past decade, graduation rates have risen from 47 percent to 65 percent. The retention rate for first year students has remained at or above 90 percent.
Although these rates appear to be somewhat of a silver lining, Ray says African-American students should still be concerned. “While the yield is important, that acceptance rate needs to take some scrutiny,” said Ray.
According to the N.C. State Office of Undergraduate Admissions website, among the factors considered during the admissions process are an applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA) and extracurricular involvements.
The University website also states that, “As a research-extensive land-grant university, we [N.C. State] not only embrace diversity, but we believe it is central to the academic purpose of the institution.” It also boasts that “Undergraduate Admissions ensures that the best and brightest at N.C. State hail from all over the world and from all walks of life.”
Though he appreciates the University’s commitment to diversity, Anthony wants to see more of that commitment reflected throughout the university. “If we [N.C. State] are going to preach the message that we embrace diversity, we need to make sure that we fully do that on all spectrums,” said Anthony.