A new report from an educational reform group has found that Black and Hispanic students are woefully underrepresented in Virginia's public colleges and universities.
According to the April 12 report from Education Reform Now, Blacks and Hispanics make up 34% of Virginia's college-age population. But only three of 15 four-year public colleges in Virginia enroll Black and Hispanic students at levels that match the population. And two of those — Norfolk State and Virginia State — are historically Black colleges.
The third is Old Dominion University.
Black and Hispanic students are least represented in the student body at Virginia Tech, James Madison, Virginia Military Institute, the University of Virginia and Christopher Newport University, according to the report. Those schools had combined Black and Hispanic enrollment between 10% and 13%.
The study looked at enrollment in the years 2016-2018.
The study found a connection between a lack of Black and Hispanic students and an inability to draw students from poor and working class families. The study found that five of the 15 worst public colleges nationally for drawing students who receive Pell grants are in Virginia — William and Mary, the University of Virginia, Christopher Newport, VMI and James Madison.