Yale placed in the top five in Hispanic Magazine’s list of the top 25 colleges for Latinos this year, after failing to make the cut last time.
The rankings placed Yale — which currently has an 8 percent Hispanic enrollment — fourth, while Harvard University topped the list. Princeton University and Amherst College came in second and third, respectively. A number of different factors were used in calculating the results, including the percentage of Hispanic faculty and students at each school and the prevalence of cultural groups on campus. Other factors, such as a school’s selectivity, student-faculty ratio and financial aid offerings, were also taken into consideration.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeff Brenzel said Yale has worked diligently to integrate Hispanic students into the greater Yale community.
“For a number of years, Yale has vigorously recruited Hispanics and other underrepresented minority students, using school visits, alumni contacts, mailing campaigns, group information sessions and other such efforts,” he said. “Both applicant numbers and yield numbers have improved in recent years for Hispanic students, as well as other underrepresented minorities, and we are extremely pleased with the vibrant cultural diversity achieved at Yale.”
Rosalinda Garcia, assistant dean and director of the Latino Cultural Center, said she believes the Hispanic atmosphere on campus is vibrant, especially given the University’s limited resources.
“I think we have as big a presence as we can,” she said. “Sometimes we are limited because of budgetary constraints, but we do a lot with what we have. Our student groups are extremely active, and they, along with the cultural center … regularly provide a wide variety of events and activities that are attractive to our diverse Latino community.”
Since Garcia assumed her position in 2002, eight new Latino student groups have been added, bringing the current total to 15 such campus organizations. But the University still has room to improve Hispanic faculty recruitment, Garcia said.
“We have a number of Latino professors that are very active with our community, but really there are only a handful of them and without a doubt I think we really need much more representation,” she said. “We need more scholars who are doing Latino-based research and who can advise our students who are interested in those fields.”
Garcia said further improvements should also include a more central campus location for La Casa Cultural, which is currently located on Crown Street, and a more concerted effort to reach out to Latino students who are not as involved in the Hispanic community.
Beatrice Amaya ’06, co-founder of Alianza, said she referred to the Hispanic Magazine rankings when making her own decision about where to apply for college.
“This year’s ranking is phenomenal,” she said. “When I was applying, I took the rankings into consideration, and I remember Harvard ranking on the list and Yale not being there.”
Amaya cited the recruiting efforts of the Admissions Office and the welcoming University community as key factors that have improved Latino life at Yale.
“The community is really dynamic,” she said. “I’m really pleased to see everyone come together and all the new organizations. The Ambassadors Program to recruit students has also done a lot to help bring more minority students to Yale.”
Last year, Yale failed to place in the top 25 because the magazine stated it would not consider schools with Hispanic enrollments lower than 7 percent, a proportion they said Yale did not meet. But Brenzel said Yale’s Hispanic enrollment was higher than 7 percent last year.
“Our percentage [last year] was actually higher than that, but apparently the magazine did not have our current data,” he said. “We were very pleased that this year the magazine both seemed to have our current information on percentage of students and also amply recognized the many other factors that make Yale one of the very top schools for Hispanic students.”
The University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Pomona College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University and Dartmouth College rounded out the top 10.