Princeton was recently named third-best among leading American universities — and best in the Ivy League — at attracting African-American students and hiring black professors.
The rankings, compiled by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (JBHE), showed Duke and Emory at the top, while Harvard and Yale placed eighth and 13th, respectively.
Princeton's no-loan financial aid policies provided unprecedented benefits to low-income students of all races, the JBHE report said.
"Princeton's continued commitment to its financial aid packages has played an enormous role in its efforts to diversify its student body," said Eddie Glaude GS '97, associate professor of religion and acting director of the Program in African-American Studies.
"If Princeton continues to give grant-based financial aid, the University will continue to attract a wide range of students. This really reinforces the commitment voiced by President Tilghman and Dean of Admission Rapelye to actively attract students of color."
Though the University received high marks for enrolling and graduating African-Americans, the low percentage of black faculty prevented the University from taking first place from Duke in the overall diversity rankings. Just 2.3 percent of the total faculty is black, and the number of black tenured faculty has risen by only 0.2 percent over the past five years.
The University ranked especially well, however, in improving the diversity of the student body. Though 5.8 percent of the student body is black, 9.4 percent of this year's freshman class is African-American, just above Harvard's 9.3 percent and Yale's 9.2 percent. High graduation rates also boosted the university's integration ratings.
Students voiced their support for the University's efforts to integrate different races.
"I definitely feel like Princeton does promote diversity in many ways," Stan Gabryszewski '08 said. "I don't think, however, that there is a level where you can settle and claim that we're doing exactly enough. We can always do more and if we're succeeding already, then we can only get better from here."
Some students said that race has also diminished as a factor in determining status on campus.
"I think the fact that I don't notice anything negative is a sign that University policies in promoting diversity are effective," said Cameron White '09, who is black. "I feel like my race isn't even an issue when making friends, which, in a sense, is the final goal of integration."
Black faculty, too, said race was not an issue in deciding to work at the University. Glaude said he chose Princeton because of its reputation for academic excellence.
"It is the leading academic institution in the country and in the world," he said. "It is an opportunity to work with the brightest individuals imaginable and a chance to work with extraordinary colleagues in an environment that is simultaneously nurturing and challenging."
In its rankings, JBHE compared 26 of the most selective universities on 13 quantitative measures of institutional racial integration. This is the 13th year it has conducted the survey.