While there are a record number of minorities in the UW’s incoming freshman class, the proportion pales when taken in context with its larger-than-ever overall class size.
Even if all of the Native American students who were admitted to the UW this year attend in the fall, they will still make up a smaller portion of the class of 2019 than Native Americans in the class of 2018.
“Native American projected enrollment is disappointing this year,” the Admission Summary for 2015 New Undergraduate Students stated, found under the Academic and Student Affairs Committee section of the Board of Regents’ July 9 meeting. “We received the same number of applicants as last year, but the admit rate was considerably lower. We are looking into this to ensure there were no factors at play which the University controls.”
The admission rate for Native Americans last year was 1.5 percent. Ninety-seven Native American students were enrolled; as of July 17, 64 have confirmed their enrollment.
Intellectual House director Ross Braine said the decrease in Native American and Alaskan Native students isn’t the school’s fault, or the admissions’ fault, but everyone’s.
“There’s not one magic pill to solve this issue,” Braine said. “It goes all the way back to public school. They’re already at a deficit for applying to the UW.”
Braine said he hopes the Intellectual House team’s outreach and recruitment around urban areas and reservations can help increase the number of Native American and Alaskan Native students at the UW.
Enrollment was projected July 19 to have record numbers for several minorities, estimating more than 220 African-American students, more than 500 Hispanic/Latino students, and more than 70 Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students. The overall enrollment is estimated at 6,800, approximately 450 more students than last year.
The projected enrollment numbers aren’t official because the students aren’t at the UW yet, according to Interim President Ana Mari Cauce. However, she said almost all of them will come.