When SLUH adopted its Minority Action Plan some 25 years ago, about 2.7% of students identified themselves as African American, with even fewer identifying as Hispanic, Asian, or other. Today, African Americans represent 7% of SLUH’s student body, Asians 5 percent, and Hispanics 4 percent. Total minority enrollment for the 2018-19 school year is 17%. The recently admitted Class of 2023 represents 18% minority enrollment.
Young Men from All Walks of Life
SLUH's tradition has been, and its vision remains, that Jesuit education be available to talented students from all financial backgrounds. Our students come from 86 different zip codes and 168 middle schools on both sides of the river. Their parents range from corporate executives and university professors, to plumbers and cab drivers. While these young men live miles apart, in two-story homes and single-room apartments, they share one common theme: they have great intellectual ability.
A strong financial aid program supports the socioeconomic diversity of our student body. Since 2008, the amount of direct aid has tripled, and the number of students benefiting from that aid has doubled. Today, SLUH offers a total of $4.1 million dollars in aid to 42% of its students. The average amount of aid is roughly half of tuition.
In support of its commitment to serving minority populations, SLUH devotes 25% of its overall financial aid to African Americans, who represent 7% of the student body. About 95% of African American students receive aid, with the average award representing nearly 82% of the cost of tuition.
Tuition (blue) and Cost of Education (red): Historically, SLUH has not charged the full cost of education to allow students from all socio-economic backgrounds to attend. The difference, or gap, between the cost of education and tuition is made up through fundraising. More recently, SLUH has made a strategic decision to move tuition closer to the cost of education. This greatly benefits financial aid by freeing up additional funds to help families from the lower and middle classes. In 2003-04, tuition was 62% of the cost of education; today it is about 90%.
At SLUH, we insist upon a safe, inclusive learning environment for our students. There will never be tolerance at SLUH for conduct or speech that is hateful or racist. We believe that every human being is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at all times.
In that spirit, we are committed to creating lasting and positive change in our institution with numerous initiatives to ensure equity and inclusion. Activities either underway or in the launch stage as of Spring 2019 include:
- Adding a Black Student Union group to our club offerings, along with several other affinity groups for minority students, while maintaining our very successful ACES group as an umbrella organization.
- Creating a parent equity and inclusion group, called PACES, to advise school leadership, support initiatives, and welcome families.
- Creating an official role in the hiring process for our Director of Equity and Inclusion to help ensure careful consideration of minority job candidates.
- Creating a Board of Trustees sub-committee, composed primarily of minority parents and alumni, to liaise with PACES and to hold us accountable for identifying needed changes and executing them.
- Featuring racial and social equity as a regular focus of faculty in-service time.
- Identifying curricular pieces to develop a consistent focus on racial and social justice so that SLUH students graduate with the ability to identify and interrupt racism.
- Updating our school aesthetics and religious iconography so that it more fully reflects the diversity of the human race.