Harvard University's class of 2021 will move into their dorms and begin classes in just a few short weeks, but they're already making headlines. For the first time in the school's 380-year history, the incoming freshman class does not have a white majority, as the Boston Globe reports.
Of the admitted students, 50.8% are from minority groups including African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians. As a point of comparison, minority students accounted for 47.3% of last year's incoming class — so things are definitely moving in a more diverse direction.
The Harvard admissions staff made a concerted effort to educate themselves about America's future generation. Recruiters traveled to 150 communities in the United States to meet with parents and high school counselors to gain a better understanding of what the future looks like.
"To become leaders in our diverse society, students must have the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives," Rachael Dane, a spokeswoman for Harvard University, told the Boston Globe. "Harvard remains committed to enrolling diverse classes of students."
On August 1, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department planned to investigate whether college's admission policies "discriminate against white applicants." The department has pushed back on the report, stating that it "has not received or issued any directive, memorandum, initiative, or policy related to university admissions in general." In response, the NYT told CNN: "We stand by our reporting."
Although we should remain vigilant regarding the Justice Department's future actions pertaining to college admissions, it's encouraging to see that elite universities like Harvard are committed to educating a racially and culturally diverse student body.