Black Student Enrollment
This graph shows the number and percent of Black students in a given class year. Hover over the graph to see data values. Data was provided by the Swarthmore Alumni Relations Office, and consists of the number of graduated and non-graduated alumni who associate with each class year. Because not all students enter, spend four years at Swarthmore and then graduate, summing four class years does not perfectly indicate the number of Black students present at Swarthmore at a given time. The data include students who did not graduate, as well as students who took time off or graduated with a different class than they entered with. These alumni can choose which class they want to associate with - the one with which they entered or the one with which they graduated. Thus this data should be seen as a fairly good but not perfect approximation of the number of students admitted in a given class.
During the January 1969 sit-in, the classes of 1969 through 1972 were enrolled at Swarthmore. At this time, students demanded that in 3 years (when the classes of 1972 through 1975 were present) the total Black enrollment be 100 students, and in 6 years (when the classes of 1975 through 1978 were present) the total be 150 students. These benchmarks correspond to an average of 25 students and 37.5 students per class respectively. Looking just at the number of students per class (dark line) it appears that the 100 student benchmark has been met in most years, and that with an overall increasing trend in the number of Black students, the 150 student benchmark has been met occasionally in the last 10 years. However, the total size of the student body has increased by about 500 students since the demands were made in 1969. Therefore, it is crucial to look at the percentages, which tell a different story. In 1969, 100 students was 9.4% of the student body and 150 students was 14%. Only in 9 years since the 1969 demands has the percent of Black students in a given class exceeded 9.4%, and never has it exceeded 14%.