March 28, 2024

Top MBA Programs Have Seen A Drop In Black And Hispanic Students Since 2020

Black Students

Data from 22 leading institutions has found that enrollments of underrepresented minorities in MBA programs have declined or stagnated since 2020.

A Drop In Enrollment Of Underrepresented Minorities

Following George Floyd’s death in 2020, which ignited a push for racial justice, top U.S. business schools pledged to increase diversity.

However, the University of Michigan, Virginia, and Berkeley have seen significant drops in minority student numbers.

For instance, Virginia and Berkeley’s 2025 classes included just 6% underrepresented students, and Michigan had 7%. 

These figures heavily contrast with their previous commitments to diversity.

Despite some schools’ slight improvements, the overall trend toward decreased Black and Hispanic representation has caused concern.

Why The Decline?

As Duke University’s Russ Morgan told Bloomberg, various factors contribute to this trend, such as a general decline in U.S. student enrollments, influencing minority representation. 

The Supreme Court’s decision against affirmative action in admissions has also directly impacted the recruitment of underrepresented groups, such as Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander students.

External factors, such as corporations’ efforts to retain underrepresented employees following the George Floyd protests, have also inadvertently affected enrollment numbers. 

Business Schools Push For Diversity

Despite these challenges, business schools are actively promoting diversity through various initiatives. 

For example, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business has seen an increase in Black and Hispanic U.S. students.

Schools are also enhancing enrollment transparency and integrating diversity-focused courses into their curricula to address these issues.

Georgetown University’s approach to early pipeline building and addressing structural barriers like the pay gap is a prime example of strategies needed to make business education more accessible.

“We are in the industry, all of us, because we see the value in educating the next generation of leader, and we see the value of a diverse workforce,” said Shelly Heinrich, an associate dean managing MBA admissions at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

“If I felt it was insurmountable, I don’t think I would be motivated.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.