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Temple University’s diversity push seen in its freshman class | Local News


Temple University’s fall 2021 freshman student body represents Philadelphia’s demographics more than it has in over two decades.

The university announced Wednesday approximately 45% of its student body’s first-years are people of color.

The highest representation of increase came from freshman Black students. There are 831 first-year Black students enrolled in Temple this fall, a hike of 23% over last school year.

“There is a proclamation you hear frequently among Temple faculty, staff, and students: ‘We’re the Diversity University,’” said Shawn Abbott, vice provost for admissions, financial aid and enrollment management. “This year, that rallying cry is even a bit stronger.”

According to Steve Orbanek, Temple’s associate director of issues management, this is the “largest student of color community Temple has welcomed in at least 25 years.”

Latino and Hispanic students also boosted their enrollment with 458 Latinx and or Hispanic students from the class of 2025 are enrolled at Temple. That is 4% higher than in 2020 when enrollment dropped overall because of the pandemic.

Overall, Temple’s diversity among its student body has increased by 31% over the last five school years.

“While the numbers are impressive, and we’re proud of our impact, we’re just getting started,” Temple University President Jason Wingard said. “Our objective is to continue to aggressively attract and matriculate increasingly diverse classes of students in the years to come.”

The diversity of first-year students goes beyond race and ethnicity. For example, Temple has increased out-of-state enrollment by 15%. In addition, the out-of-state student body is well-represented by Florida, Texas and California.

Temple also saw a gain in Philadelphians staying home and enrolling at the local university this year with 745 hometown students are enrolled.

Thirty percent of Temple’s freshmen will be first-generation college graduates.

“In 2018, we embarked on an enrollment goal to recruit a freshman class with no ethnic majority, and we are inching closer and closer to that aspiration,” Abbott said. “Without sacrificing academic quality, a renewed vigor in intentionally recruiting a more diverse student body — not just ethnically but geographically and socioeconomically — is having pretty dramatic results.”

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