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Minority Student Records at Oberlin College


"Relative Number of Colored Students," 1899-1900

[Note: The term "colored" was commonly used by both white and black students and faculty in the 19th to mid-20th centuries, and is transcribed from the original document.]

The following table was prepared with care at the request of the National Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.

Number of Students, 1899-1900

                                                     White                         "Colored"                 Total
                                                      Men          Women    Men     Women      Men      Women
College    181       223             9            4   190        227
Seminary    37     2     1     0    38      1
Academy [Prep School]   188   133    10      6   198   139
Conservatory     71   378     3     4    74   382
Art     6    18     2     1     8      19
Physical Training        0     6     0     0    16    24
Summer School, 1899    16    24     0     0    16    24
Totals    499   784    25    15   524   799

"From this it will be seen that the colored students comprised 40 out of 1323, or 3.02% of the total enrollment of last year. This percentage is smaller than during the early years of the College history. In President Fairchild's report issued in April, 1880, the following statement appears, 'In the last catalogue (1879-80) the proportion of colored students is 5 1/3 percent. This is exactly the ratio for the decade preceding the war. For the decade following the Civil War it was about 8 percent.' The diminishing ratio of recent years is probably accounted for by the gradual opening of all schools to "colored" students. Colored students find it possible to attend good colleges and universities today, where in former years it would not have been possible to matriculate, - schools nearer the students' homes, by attending which a considerable saving of money is effected. Oberlin rejoices in the increasing educational opportunities open to colored students of this country, and takes just pride in looking back upon the contributions which Oberlin College has been able to make to this great work."

The foregoing is from the Annual Report of the President, March, 1901, Page 78.