Washington University in St. Louis, which has drawn sharp criticism for years for its lack of student diversity, announced on Friday a jump in diversity in the freshman class enrolling this fall, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The university said the proportion of the class who are black will rise to 9 percent from 5 percent; Hispanic to 8 percent from 6 percent; and low income to 11 percent from 8 percent.
Critics said the university had climbed in the college rankings by using merit scholarships to enroll well-prepared students who were well-off and not from underrepresented groups. After The New York Times highlighted the pattern, in January, the university vowed to increase its socioeconomic diversity.
Holden Thorp, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, told the Post-Dispatch that the university had not been forced to lower its standard to raise its diversity.