A chance to review such actual facts!


What college enrollments look like:
Very few seats at a handful of schools were involved in the current "college admissions scandal."

Despite this fact, the scandal has been getting maximum play. That's pretty much the basic way we rational animals roll.

The coverage has involved a fair amount of obvious inanity. Tomorrow, we'll cover the silliest moment of them all, taken from—where else?—CNN's Don Lemon program.

For today, let's use this as an opportunity to review such actual data. On Sunday, in a high-profile essay, the New York Times was making it sound like it's still 1955, with elite colleges doing everything they possibly can to keep out students of color.

Is that really the way our "elite" campuses currently roll? We were struck by these in-house data from Harvard concerning its current freshman class:
Ethnicity, Harvard College, admitted class of 2022
African American: 15.2%
Asian American: 22.9%
Hispanic or Latino: 12.3%
Native American: 1.9%
Native Hawaiian 0.4%
Somewhat oddly, "white" is neither a race nor an ethnicity within these Harvard statistics. The data seem to cover the number of admissions offered to various students as opposed to the number of enrollments, although thanks to Harvard's murky work, we can't really be sure.

That said, if those in-house data are accurate, Harvard offered admission to black kids in a number which matches the percentage of black kids within American public schools. If Harvard is trying to ban students of color, it's doing a terrible job.

Those are in-house data from just one class at just one famous college. For today, let's look at NCES data from some of the schools involved in the current (quite limited) scandal, with a few other schools thrown in.

For starters, what does Stanford's enrollment look like? The NCES says this:
Undergraduate enrollment, Stanford
White students: 36%
Black students: 7%
Hispanic/Latino students: 16%
Asian-American students: 22%
Two or more races: 10%
Race/ethnicity unknown: 0%

Foreign students: 9%
Remember—foreign students are treated as a separate category in these NCES statistics. Among American students enrolled at Stanford, the NCES says that white students made up 36% of overall undergraduate enrollment. Students of color stood at 45%, with an additional 10% biracial students.

Stanford is not all white. What do other upper-end schools look like? To simplify matters, we'll show you the data in a three-part format. For any school's data, start here:
Undergraduate enrollment at various schools
White students/Students of color/Biracial students

Harvard: 43% / 35% / 6%
Yale: 45% / 38% / 6%
Princeton: 42% / 39% / 4%
Columbia: 37% / 38% / 6%

Cornell: 38% / 39% / 5%
Duke: 44% / 40% / 2%
Georgetown: 53% / 25% / 4%
Stanford: 36% / 45% / 10%

USC: 39% / 39% / 6%
UCLA: 27% / 53% / 5%
Texas/Austin: 42% / 48% / 4%
Georgetown is an outlier here. That said, it's the only one of these schools in which white American students constitute even half of the overall undergraduate enrollment.

Try comparing that to the impression the New York Times pimped to the world in this essay in last weekend's Sunday Review. In that essay, readers were told that these schools do everything they can to deny admission to students of color. We've included Cornell on our list because the Times' grossly misleading essay mainly concerned that school.

Meanwhile, take a look at UCLA's breakdown. Last Saturday, Times readers were given the impression, in this news report, that it's extremely hard for students of color to get admitted there. This is the way the New York Times rolls, though mainly the paper's just stupid.

The Times is a pernicious force in the intellectual life of the nation. They've been such a force for a very long time. There's no sign that they plan to change.

One final point:

Black enrollments at the private schools on this list tend to stand at roughly 7 percent. According to the NCES, undergraduate black enrollment at Harvard was 7 percent when these data were compiled, as opposed to the higher number to whom the school says it offered enrollment in this year's freshman class.

(Note: The NCES data aren't directly comparable to the in-house data from Harvard.)

Why are black enrollments so low? We'll be discussing that question all next week, in line with this latest report from the Times about New York City high schools.

The Times strikes us as a pernicious pseudo-liberal upper-class force. This helps explain why black kids are under-represented at upper-end schools. It helps explain how Donald J. Trump got where he currently is.

One further note: As we've told you, you won't be seeing data like these in the New York Times. Information is boring! And hard!

Instead, you'll be seeing human interest stories concerning what Olivia Jade deeply prefers for breakfast. This is very much the way our dumbest big newspaper rolls.


  1. Bob Somerby: “it’s not 1955 anymore.”

    As if the struggle for civil rights, fairness, and opportunity ended with a Supreme Court decision and we now live in a post-racial society. *Someone* had to push those elite colleges to diversify their admissions, else we wouldn’t be where we are today with those statistics that Somerby (approvingly?) cites. It is an ongoing struggle. The famous “achievement gaps” that Somerby often cites are evidence of a persistent problem. It is a societal problem, not just one confined to schools.

    It’s nice that elite schools have so many people of color as a percentage of their enrollment (blacks, not so much though). But that doesn’t address the larger problem that Somerby himself hints at.

    It might be a good start if he would listen to the concerns of actual people of color and respond respectfully rather than labeling them “bellyaching.” He might find natural allies in his quest for improving education if he would quit spending so much time trying to alienate them. This assumes, of course, that he has any real interest in improving schools rather than a purely sneering “anthropological” interest in attacking people.

    1. Where's the evidence that these people are actually deserving or even capable of benefiting from their positions? If something like less than 1% of blacks score on a range that is competitive in these environs, how exactly is such an education supposed to work?

      The fact is, you don't really care. The actual facts on the ground are too hard for you to deal with, so you'd rather just screw deserving students over in an insane attempt at leveling the playing field, Harrison Bergeron-style.

      As people like me put the rope around the necks of people like you, you can think on that.

  2. If you further segregate jews and gentiles, you'll find that a shockingly small number of white students attend these prestigious schools -far below what the number ought to be on merit alone. That Paki's inane essay was the diametric opposite of the truth, as the standard narrative tends to be.

  3. The same arguments that are being made, by Somerby and others, against de Blasio’s plan for New York’s specialized high schools were made, and continue to be made, against the diversification of admissions to elite colleges and universities. The ever-present lawsuits testify to the controversies surrounding this.

  4. Somerby said this on Monday:

    “Based on what this student said, Crucet concluded that the other student was unqualified for Cornell on a purely meritocratic basis. That may, of course, have been true.

    (For all we know, of course, that could also have been true, in some regard, for Crucet herself. There's no way for a reader—or perhaps for Crucet herself—to make such an assessment.)”

    No such doubts entered the minds of Mr. Bakke, Ms. Fisher (UT Austin), or the group of Asian students suing Harvard. Why should these doubts enter Ms. Crucet‘s mind? Were these people also “bellyaching?”

    Colleges, within certain parameters, get to decide who “merits” being admitted. (Sports scholarships, legacy admissions anyone?)
    There will always be a case that someone with excellent credentials didn’t get in to the elite school of his/her choice.

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