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Kentucky universities release preliminary black enrollment numbers


Before settling on the University of Kentucky, Alexandra “Nikki” Fenwick considered the University of Louisville and Murray State University.


The 18-year-old Fenwick spent time on UK’s campus and found it had student clubs geared toward black students and campus diversity.


“I found out they had a lot of choices that I wanted, like their equine science major,” said Fenwick, who wants to eventually breed horses.


Fenwick is one of 260 black freshmen enrolled at UK this fall, about 6.6 percent of UK’s total freshmen class, according to preliminary numbers released Friday. That’s a decrease from last year, when there were 296 incoming black freshmen.


University officials say the decrease is because the school’s overall freshman class is smaller this year. Preliminary numbers show 3,922 students enrolled in its entire freshman class this fall.


Still, the overall number of black students enrolled at the school is up by nearly 30 people to 1,419. Blacks account for about 5.3 percent of all students there.


UK has more than 3,900 freshmen this year, compared to last year’s record-setting 4,200. School officials limited the number of incoming freshmen this year to improve some student services.


Meanwhile, the University of Louisville says there are 301 black freshmen this year compared to 284 last fall. Nevertheless, U of L has 2,378 black students in its overall population, 11 fewer than last year.


In recent years, UK has been criticized for its student body’s lack of diversity. There were 143 black freshmen enrolled for the 2005-06 academic year, down from 256 in fall 2004.


The school tried to boost its numbers with increased scholarships and more campus visits for prospective students.


Kentucky’s public universities are still compiling enrollment data for 2007. The final numbers won’t be out until after Nov. 1 when they’re presented to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.


Information from: The Courier-Journal,

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