Slightly fewer freshmen self-identified as members of a racial minority than the last year’s class, despite a years-long push by GW to diversify its student body.
About 26 percent of the Class of 2016 identified as black, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or multiracial – a 2 percent drop from last year.
The class also includes more international students, with that population comprising 9.6 percent of students. The number of international students has risen 25 percent over the last decade. GW has pushed to recruit more international students, who typically pay full tuition.
The University hired Terri Harris Reed for its first diversity-specific administrative position, the vice provost for diversity and inclusion, in 2011. Reed said GW is on track to draw more students from different backgrounds to GW.
“Our goal is to have a student body that reflects and embraces a rich and broad range of human experiences and perspectives,” Reed said.
“If you include the representation of international students in your vision for a more diverse and inclusive community, we continue to see a difference,” she added. “I want to emphasize that we do not view the representation of international students as a replacement for or interchangeable with U.S. multicultural students.”
GW’s diversity rates have been slowly increasing over the past several years, although the University’s percentages lag behind those of peer institutions, like New York and Boston universities, where more than 50 percent of students identified as multicultural last year. About 43 percent of undergraduates at GW identify as multicultural.
The University increased trips to urban high schools last year to appeal to more diverse applicants, former Senior Vice Provost for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said last fall.
The admissions office admitted 7,105 applicants from a pool of 21,700 for the freshmen class – the second straight year that GW’s admittance rate has been 33 percent.