OSU Minority enrollment declines
The university is working to make the setback temporary.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- The number of black students in Ohio State University's freshman class was down 28 percent this fall, the lowest it's been in the past decade, school officials said.
Ohio State had 393 black freshmen enrolled at the Columbus campus this year, after having 550 to 575 in previous years. Applications from black students were also down about 28 percent compared to last year.
"Obviously we're disappointed," said Mabel Freeman, OSU assistant vice president of admissions. "We anticipated that, because of the changes, we would have a setback. But we're working hard to make it a temporary setback."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that college and universities cannot consider race as the chief factor in admissions decisions. The court also eliminated a system used by the University of Michigan that awarded points for race to undergraduate applicants.
Michigan received 1,391 applications from black students, compared with 1,864 last year. Other universities have also seen a drop in minority applicants.
Ohio State gave points for race but now has an application that includes four short-essay questions. That led to an overall drop in applications because students prefer fewer writing assignments, Freeman said.
Ohio State has increased its efforts to recruit minority students, including running radio advertisements that provide information on entrance exams, financial aid and deadlines for college applications.
"The issue is to increase the number of minorities going to college and to stress the value of higher education," Freeman said. "They can do it at Ohio State or another institution. We just don't want them sitting at home."