Class of 2017 metrics show diversity gains limited to international students

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

This year, Case Western Reserve University has a little bit more global character. A city in Ohio is no longer the most common hometown. This year, it’s Beijing, China.

Analysis of this years first-time, first-year student enrollment data shows that the Class of 2017 is the most diverse in recent history. However, this rise is solely due to a rise in Chinese international students.

The Class of 2017 enrolled 113 Chinese international students, the largest Chinese international population in the past five years and almost double the amount of Chinese students in the class of 2016. Only two other countries, India and the Republic of Korea, have been continuously represented in the past five incoming classes, and their populations have remained relatively stable and have numbered significantly less than the international Chinese student population.

In addition, the amount of international students in the admitted class of 2017 is the highest it has been in the past five years, comprising 12 percent of the class population, a five percent increase from the admitted class of 2016. In addition, the amount of admitted students from Ohio has decreased significantly over the past five years, from 38 percent in the admitted class of 2013 to 29 percent in the class of 2017.

The population of students from states other than Ohio has continually increased from 53 percent in the admitted class of 2013 to approximately 60 percent in the class of 2017, though the class of 2017 represents a notable decrease from the 66 percent of non-Ohio Americans admitted to CWRU. In the class of 2017, New York is, for the first time, the second most represented state behind Ohio with approximately seven percent of the classes’ makeup.

“This increase in diversity is great for both current students and alumni of the university,” said Bob McCullough, director of undergraduate admissions. “CWRU will become more known throughout the world, and as such, the value of degrees earned from the university will increase.”

However, significant increases in ethnic diversity do not noticeably appear beyond the increase in international diversity. The percentage of African-American first time-enrollees in CWRU has remained steady over the past five years, around five percent. A similar pattern has occurred in the Latino first time-enrollee population, hovering between four to seven percent. The category of underrepresented minorities, which does not include individuals of Asian descent, constituted 13 percent of Fall 2013 first-time enrollees.