Some Data and Analysis on Diversity at CU Boulder

In this post I’ll share some of the data and analysis I’ve been compiling on diversity at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I am a professor. There is no way to sugar-coat this data — CU Boulder has a lot of work to do on diversity.

The graph above shows the proportions of Black and Latinx individuals in the Colorado population (aged 18 to 24) and the proportions enrolled at CU Boulder. Data such as this earned CU Boulder an “F” grade from The Education Trust in its report, Segregation Forever?

The above graph shows for the PAC-12 a measure of economic diversity as tracked by US News and World Report in terms of the number of Pell Grant recipients. CU Boulder ranks 12 of 12.

The next graph looks similar, but this one ranks ethnic diversity according to a ranking used by US News and World Report. Also for the PAC-12, this one also shows CU Boulder ranking 12 of 12 universities. Below is the table, which also shows national rankings, with Cu Boulder sitting near the bottom nationally as well.

This graph is from data provided by the University of Colorado Boulder. It shows the proportion of applicants accepted into the CU Boulder, for all students (red) and Black students (black). It shows that Black students are accepted at a lower rate than all students and their acceptance rates have declined over 30 years while acceptance rates for all applicants have increased.

This graph, from the same source, shows student enrollment decisions once they have been accepted. It shows that Black students choose to enroll at similar rate to all students, and a decline in each driven by the increase in overall acceptances.

It is thus the fewer acceptances of Black students to CU Boulder that helps to explain why CU Boulder ranks so poorly in diversity.

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