Drop in Black Student Enrollment

By  | 

A new report shows a drop in African American student enrollment at Florida’s universities. While enrollment is increasing for Hispanics, it’s declining for blacks.

Despite the numbers, Governor Jeb Bush says his “One Florida” initiative is working.

Wildoph Dorville is a junior at Florida A&M University. He’s getting a degree in engineering. Wildoph feels confident about his future, but that’s not the case for many African Americans in Florida.

Some critics blame the governor for abolishing affirmative action and replacing it with his “One Florida” plan, but Jeb Bush says he’s not to blame, FAMU is.

“The prime reason why black enrollment is down is that enrollment is down at FAMU.
I’ve been assured by the President of FAMU that they are going to make sure that more of the students who’ve applied and been accepted will go there.”

But several other universities have seen a drop in black enrollment and Reggie Mitchell of People for the American Way says the governor’s answer doesn’t begin to address the overall problem.

“The University of Florida, the University of South Florida, other schools. Since One Florida, this is no surprise we saw this coming. It’s just consistent with Florida just not doing a good job in education at all levels."

Mitchell points to a Harvard study that shows three out of five black males don’t graduate from high school. He says if the situation were that critical among white students, more would be done to change it.

Not all of the state universities are experiencing a drop in black enrollment. The numbers are up six percent at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and almost 22 percent at Florida International University in Miami.