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Cornell: Top School for African Americans?

"Black Enterprise names Cornell one of nation's best colleges for African-Americans," boasts a recent Cornell Chronicle press release. Hooray! If true -- and assuming there's an objective set of conditions that would make a university preferable to African-American students -- this would be great for Cornell, great for the student body, and of course, a great selling point.

The press release notes that Cornell falls at #26 in this year's Black Enterprise "Top 50 Colleges for African Americans" rankings. Halfway down out of 50 ain't bad, when you consider the 1,400 or so other schools considered. But Cornell is beat out by Harvard, Columbia, and Penn, and this is actually a drop from 2004, which is the latest year for previous rankings I could find online. (That year, Cornell's endowed colleges ranked #24.) Also, this year's methodology was changed to weigh black graduation rates more heavily, arguably one of the most important factors that should be considered. The result was that Harvard shot up from #9 in 2004 to #4 now, and Morehouse College, previously #1, plummeted to #45.

The upshot of it is this: If you're a minority student looking to apply to an Ivy League university, would you choose the 26th-ranked school, or a higher-ranked college that offered no-loan financial aid?

Andy Guess | Posted on September 10, 2006 (#)


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