A new Hechinger Report study shows many flagship universities across the country have relatively low African-American and Latino student enrollments but the University of Iowa shows a slight rise in first-time degree-seeking students from those minority populations.

The Jan. 29, 2018, report, covering enrollment in 2010 to 2015, shows the University of Iowa’s Latino student enrollment for first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates increasing from 5 percent of all students in 2010 to 9 percent in 2015. African-American undergraduate first-time degree enrollment rose from 2 percent of the student body in 2010 to 4 percent in 2015.

Yet, African-American and Latino students IowaWatch interviewed said the university could do more to cultivate a culture of diversity and create a safer learning environment for African-American and Latino students on campus. Plus, the share of those two ethnic groups in the current student enrollment counts has dropped, this IowaWatch Connection report shows.

Matthew Bruce Credit: Lauren Wade/IowaWatch

“There’s no room for people to look different,”Matthew Bruce, 22, a senior from Des Moines, said. “There’s kind of, in my opinion, a culture of assimilation, for sure, like: to be a Hawkeye looks like this, sounds like this.” Bruce said.

Although they were not in The Hechinger Report study, enrollment figures in the regents’ report showed 2.6 percent of Iowa State University’s total fall 2017 enrollment was black or African-American and 5 percent was Latino. The University of Northern Iowa figures showed 2.7 percent black or African-American and 3.6 percent Latino.

READ MORE: Work Remains In University of Iowa’s Effort To Support African-Americans and Latinos, Students Say

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