University of New Hampshire
is a Leader in Black Student Graduation Rates
Journal Ranks UNH Second in Nation
Among Flagship Public Universities
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Dec. 19, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire has the second-highest
graduation rate of black students in the nation among flagship state
According to the latest issue of the Journal of Blacks in Higher
Education, UNH ranks second among public universities, graduating
66 percent of black students. The University of Virginia ranks first
with an 85 percent graduation rate for the black students who entered
in the fall of 1996.
UNH’s black graduation rate is far above national average
of 39 percent and exceeds rates at its comparator land-grant colleges,
including those in the Northeast. In the region, the University
of Delaware graduates 64 percent of its black students, the University
of Connecticut graduates 58 percent, the University of Vermont graduates
51 percent, the University of Massachusetts graduates 47 percent
and the University of Maine graduates 46 percent.
“The university prides itself in creating a welcoming, rich
academic community that supports and inspires our ever-expanding
diverse student population. Our black students are an integral part
of our community, and we are committed to supporting their academic
success,” UNH President Ann Weaver Hart said.
“They have set an example for the state, region and nation,
showing that hard work and commitment result in the realization
of academic dreams and the attainment of the economic benefits associated
with earning a college degree,” Hart said.
The number of black students enrolled at UNH has more than tripled
in 10 years, largely because of innovative recruiting strategies
implemented by UNH Admissions several years ago. According to Jibril
Salaam, associate director of admissions, the university moved away
from the more traditional approaches to minority student recruitment
in 2000, such as attending college fairs at high schools.
Instead, the department began partnering with urban grassroots organizations
that already had relationships with UNH’s target audience.
Once the partnerships were in place, Salaam said UNH Admissions
staff and students made personal connections with prospective students,
helping to demystify UNH and New Hampshire.
“We are putting UNH on their radar screen from early on. They
see the opportunities UNH has to offer because they know a UNH student
who they can e-mail and talk to about the university,” he
said. “When they are accepted at UNH, they receive a hand-written
note from a UNH student congratulating them on their acceptance
and encouraging them to attend.”
According to the journal, last fall 400,000 young black students
enrolled in college for the first time, but only about 160,000 will
earn a degree and reap its benefits; blacks who have a four-year
college degree now have a median income that is 94 percent of the
median income of college-educated whites.
Large state universities such as UNH educate three-fourths of all
black college students in the United States.