UGA Experiences Decline Among Black Applicants
ATHENS, Ga. Fewer than 900 Black high school seniors have applied for admission to the University of Georgia this fall — a drop of almost 20 percent from last year. Just 897 Black seniors had applied by Feb. 1, down from 1,100 who had applied by Feb. 1, 2000. Administrators at the state’s flagship university say they expected the decline but are concerned. The school has enlisted Gov. Roy Barnes as part of an extensive campaign to get more Black students who are accepted to enroll. The university is battling in court to continue giving a small mathematical boost to some non-White applicants. Race has been suspended as a factor for fall 2001 admissions as a federal appeals court considers the matter. The drop in Black applicants “is something we expected, in light of the lawsuit,” university spokesman Tom Jackson says. “California and Texas, which also had legal challenges, experienced a similar decrease, and they recovered in two to three years. We hope that’s going to happen here, too.”Black enrollment is about 6 percent at the school, which has more than 30,000 students. The state’s population is more than 25 percent Black. Feb. 1 figures do not include applications that have been received but not processed, and do not include scholarship and walk-on athletes, who likely will number fewer than 200. In 2000, 597 of the 1,593 Black applicants were accepted. About 250 enrolled. Barnes has agreed to host some prospective students and their parents at the governor’s mansion, and UGA President Michael Adams is expected to invite some high school seniors and their parents to his house. Meanwhile, UGA agreed last month to pay $55,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by two White students who were denied admission to its law school. Students Robert Homlar and Virginia Noble, who have since enrolled in other law schools, challenged the constitutionality of the UGA law school’s admissions policy, saying it granted unfair preferences to Black and minority students. The university has paid more than $178,000 to settle similar suits and is appealing a federal judge’s opinion last July declaring its admissions process unconstitutional.
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