For the first time in the school’s history, the freshman class at the University of Texas has more minority students than white students.
According to a report released today by Kristi Fisher, associate vice provost and director of the Office of Information Management and Analysis, the number of first-time freshmen who self-identified as “white” on admissions forms totaled 47.6 percent, down from 51.1 percent in fall 2009.
The overall university student population this fall, which totals 51,233, is 52.1 percent white.
This year, there are new federal and state guidelines for reporting such figures, including the introduction of two new race categories: "Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander" and "two or more." For the first time, the guidelines allow students to identify with more than one category. Any students who identify as Hispanic are counted in the "Hispanic" category only, even if they also identify with other racial groups. Same with students who identify as being black; they're counted in the "black" category only, regardless of the other races they identify with. This presents an interesting conundrum: If a student identifies as both black and Hispanic, they're only counted as being Hispanic.
Fisher says the upward trend in minority enrollment has not been affected by the changes in reporting standards.
Here’s the racial and ethnic breakdown of UT's first-time freshman class in the fall of 2010, as compared to fall of 2009:
|Race/Ethnicity ||Fall 2010 ||Fall 2009|
47.6 percent (3,464 students)
|51.1 percent (3,700 students)|
|Hispanic||23.1 percent (1,680 students)||20.8 percent (1,503 students)|
|Black||5.2 percent (372 students)||
4.9 percent (354 students)
|Asian||17.3 percent (1,260 students)||19.6 percent (1,423 students)|
|0.2 percent (15 students)||0.4 percent (29 students)|
||0.1 percent (4 students)||New category in 2010
|Two or more (not Hispanic or black)||2.6 percent (190 students)||New category in 2010|
|Foreign||3.9 percent (282 students)||3.2 percent (230 students)|
|Unknown||0.1 percent (10 students)||0.1 percent (4 students)|