Black Enrollment Falls At University Of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois’ campus in Urbana-Champaign set out in 1968 to start enrolling 500 new black students every year.

But the News-Gazette in Champaign reports the state’s flagship public university hasn’t enrolled that many new black students in six years. This year the figure was 356.

Blacks make up 4.87 percent of 43,603 students on campus. But 14.7 percent of the state’s population is black.

Ruby Mendenhall is a sociology and African-American Studies professor at the university. She said the university needs to reflect the state.

Campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler called the drop “unacceptable.” She said it reflects a trend of declining numbers of students choosing to enroll at the university.

Rising tuition is also a factor.

But some critics say the university focuses on high-paying international students.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)