Williams College recently released its fall enrollment data — and it’s rather alarming. As students across America and around the world make decisions about their fall plans with the threat of COVID-19 hanging over their heads, it’s come to light that students who intend to be on-campus this fall at Williams will be less diverse than the typical Williams student body. Specifically, many of Williams’ students of color and many its students who depend on financial aid are choosing remote learning over on-campus instruction this fall.
Fall Enrollees at Williams College Are Less Diverse
According to a piece in The Williams Record entitled “The College released its data on fall enrollment. It reveals disparities by race and financial aid status.” by Jeongyoon Han and Lucy Walker, 76.2% of Williams’ white students will be on campus this fall as compared to 66.9% of its Black/African American students, 68.4% of its Latinx students, 54.5% of its Native American students, and 73.9% of its Asian/Asian American students. Additionally, Williams’ white students, among all demographics, are the likeliest to be taking gap years. Lastly, with respect to students who receive financial aid, 72.1% will be on campus this fall as compared to 74.1% of students who do not receive financial aid. 6.2% of students who receive financial aid will be taking gap years, while 16.1% of students who do not receive aid will be doing so.
Good for Williams College to Release the Data
And while the data out of Williams is certainly alarming, it is somewhat unsurprising. Gap years, as an example, are a luxury of the privileged. Other universities across America are also likely seeing similar data trickle in, although many schools will choose not to report the data publicly. While we don’t like to see that fewer minority students and fewer underprivileged students are enrolling at Williams this fall during the pandemic, we salute the school for publicly releasing the data in the first place.
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