Percentage of first-year minority students decreases in fall 2012

Percentage of first-year minority students decreases in fall 2012

Attracting minority students is proving to be a challenge for the university this semester.

For the past four years, TCU's first-year minority population was between 19 and 20 percent. This fall, however, the numbers dropped. 

Of the 1,853 first-year students this year, 16.9 percent are minority students, according to fall 2012 records.

"The fact that we are at 17 percent is a bummer," Ray Brown, dean of admission, said. "We have to do better."

Every minority group decreased compared to fall 2011 records. The Caucasian group increased by two percent, which accounts for 79.4 percent of first-year students.

Brown said minority students are applying to the university and are accepted, but they are not enrolling.

"Minority students who get into TCU today can get in anywhere they want. That's the caliber of student we are working with," Brown said. "But those minority students that are accepted choose to enroll at universities that offer more scholarship money."

Brown said high tuition costs at private schools are a barrier to minority enrollment.

"Most colleges are willing to pony up the money that, historically, we are not," he said. "Other schools offer more financial aid."

Caleb St. Laurent, a Hispanic student with a double major in history and biology, said he chose to enroll at the university after the school offered him the Chancellor’s Scholarship.

“If I hadn’t gotten some sort of financial aid from TCU, I would have gone to one of the other schools I applied to, like OU or OSU,” St. Laurent said.

In an April 2012 Image magazine article, Brown said the university's target goal was 22 percent minority. Now, he has changed his aim by saying he "just wants the numbers to be better."

"When diversity is no longer an issue for people, we have reached our target," Brown said. "I don't know what the exact number is."

Brown said he knows that there is no easy answer to this problem. 

"I would like for it to get a heck of a lot better and I want to do whatever it takes," he said.