Over the past decade, the number of African-American students at Georgetown has steadily fallen, according to university data. However, the number of African-American students applying to Georgetown has increased and the number accepted has remained steady. The decline in African-American students began in 1990, when total enrollment had reached an all-time high of 472, according to the Registrar’s office. The numbers of Asian-American and Hispanic-American students have fallen slightly since 1995, yet only the numbers of African-American students have been on a steady decline. However, in 1997, Georgetown University received the highest number of African-American applicants among its peer institutions, according to Senior Vice President John DeGioia. In addition, he said Georgetown is among the most diverse of distinguished private Colleges and Universities in the United States. Currently the minority student population makes up 25 percent of the university community, according to Admissions office figures. Asian Americans make up the largest percentage at 11 percent, with African Americans second at 7 percent and Hispanic and Native Americans at 6 and 1 percent respectively. The numbers of African-American and Hispanic applicants have increasingly been on the rise from 819 in 1990 to 1136 in 1998 and 467 in 1990 to 866 to 1998, respectively, according to the Registrar’s Office. DeGioia suggested that money may one of the causes of this decline in African-American enrollment. “My best judgment is, we are finding it difficult to compete head to head with peer institutions because we know they are offering richer financial aid packages than we are able to afford,” he said. “We meet the full need of our students; some of our competitors are offering more than the full need, and [we would like to be able to compete like that but we don’t have the financial resources to do so](http://www.thehoya.com/news/campaign-has-750-million-goal/).” DeGioia said the rise in the number of applicants is a direct result of the university’s policy of recruiting of minorities and women. When asked if the university aggressively recruits women and minority students, DeGioia said, “Absolutely, absolutely. I think as our number of applied students, particularly African-American students, would indicate . in 1997 we had the deepest pool of applicants among the elite private institutions in the United States.” While the number of African-American students accepted has maintained a steady rate, according to DeGioia, the University is not “yielding” many students. DeGioia said the drastic increase of applicants, coupled with the steady rate of acceptance for both African-American and Hispanic-American students, means the university has become more competitive. When asked if the university has an affirmative action policy with regard to undergraduate admission of women and minorities, DeGioia said, “Georgetown has always considered race one criteria among many criteria that we used in making admissions decisions.” DeGioia said the university has maintained a steady rate of acceptance of minority students despite the increase in the number of applications. This is due in part because class size has not changed much over the years and, more importantly, the university is satisfied with the numbers of minority students. The university does not have a mathematical equation for determining the desired minority population, yet after years of practice and comparison with peer institutions, it has gotten a feel for how the campus should be, according to DeGioia. However, the decline in African-American enrollment is an issue the university is concerned with. “What we want to be able to ensure is that we are yielding the proper numbers so if that requires that we need to make some adjustments in our acceptance, we are going to have to look at that very carefully,” DeGioia said.

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