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Colleges 2009

Statistics from the 2009 America’s Best Colleges 
by U.S. News & World Report for 2007-08 freshman class.

School % accepted total applicants number accepted % Asian-Am. in student body
Juilliard School 7.70 2,311 178 16
Harvard 9.18 22,955 2,108 16
Princeton 9.70 18,942 1,838 14
Yale 9.89 19,323 1,911 14
Stanford 10.28 23,958 2,464 24
Columbia 10.57 21,343 2,255 16
Cooper Union 10.74 2,551 274 17*
U.S. Naval Academy 11.82 12,003 1,419 4*
MIT 12.48 12,445 1,553 26
Brown 13.98 19,097 2,669 15
U.S. Military Academy 15.01 10,838 1,627 7
Dartmouth 15.28 14,176 2,166 14
U. of Pennsylvania 16.02 22,645 3,628 17*
Claremont McKenna 16.21 4,140 671 13*
Pomona 16.32 5,907 964 14
CalTech 16.88 3,597 607 38
Washington Univ. (St. Louis) 17.33 22,428 3,887 13
U.S. Air Force Academy 17.46 9,162 1,600 8
Amherst 17.59 6,680 1,175 12*
Swarthmore 17.74 5,242 930 17
Williams 18.43 6,478 1,194 11
Bowdoin 18.96 5,961 1,130 13
Middlebury 20.60 7,180 1,479 8*
Georgetown 20.81 16,163 3,363 9
Cornell 21.40 30,383 6,503 16
Average 14.88

*decrease from prior year
2/6/09 National Review.com: “Staving Off the ‘Yellow Peril’: The University
of California regents attempt to curtail Asian admissions,”
by Stephan Thernstrom
In 1995, the regents of the University of California , at the urging of Ward
Connerly and Gov. Pete Wilson, voted to bar racial preferences on all nine
of the system’s campuses. A year later, the state’s voters passed
Proposition 209, an amendment to the constitution that extended that ban
to state and local governments. But today, the regents are expected to
approve major changes in admissions policies that represent the most
recent of many misguided attempts to circumvent Prop 209.
The move is breathtaking. It will drop the requirement that applicants take
two SAT “subject tests”; if the students the school wants tend to do poorly
on such tests, then it is best not to know just how poorly.  The plan also
sharply lowers the academic standards that applicants must meet to be
eligible for a “full admissions review.” This review is where their distinctive
“personal qualities” can be discerned and made to count for more than the
weaknesses in their academic performance.
These changes are manifestly driven by the desire to bring in more black
and Hispanic students. Remarkably, though, the university’s own projections
indicate that the plan will do almost nothing to expand black enrollment and
will be of very modest benefit to Hispanics. Even more remarkably, the
prime beneficiaries of the changes will be non-Hispanic whites, whose
share of total enrollments is predicted to rise by 20-30 percent.
And the big losers will be Asian Americans, whose numbers will be
reduced by 10-20 percent. The net effect will thus be to make the University
of California substantially “whiter” than it has been.
That’s ironic, because when the battle for race-blind admissions began,
opponents worried that Prop 209 would transform UC into a “lily white”
institution. This dire prophecy proved ludicrously far from the mark.
The big gainers were not white applicants; they were Asian Americans.
Although only 12 percent of the state’s population, Asians accounted for
37 percent of UC admissions in 2008.
Also, while black and Hispanic enrollments at the most selective campuses
(Berkeley and UCLA) did fall sharply, rises at places like Riverside and Irvine
more than offset the declines. In fact, the Hispanic share of total UC
enrollments has risen dramatically over the past dozen years, from 14 to 22
percent. Black students made gains too, though slight ones. More important,
minority graduation rates have improved substantially, now that these
students are no longer “mismatched” as a result of racial double standards.
Although these numbers indicate that blacks and Hispanics, particularly
the latter, have fared well under race-blind admissions, university officials
have long been tinkering with the rules in an effort to bring in more
“underrepresented minorities.” Standardized tests have counted for less
and less, and admissions have become more “holistic”-i.e., subjective.
Demonstrating that an applicant has “overcome disadvantage” has
become more important than demonstrating that he grasps quadratic
equations and can write a literate essay.
It’s hard to believe that, as part of this mission, the regents are deliberately
trying to do their bit to stave off the “yellow peril.”
But proponents of racial preferences have let slip some highly unsavory
attitudes on occasion. My wife, Abigail, appeared on Crossfire many years
ago and was asked by liberal co-host Bob Beckel whether she would “like
to see UCLA Law School 80 percent Asian.” In a 1995 interview, President
Clinton said that “there are universities in California that could fill their
entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans.” In 1998, a
writer for Newsday asked, “Since Asians outscore everyone, would we
accept an all-Asian class?”
Nasty stuff, and not aberrational. If you truly believe that it is unjust that
some groups are “underrepresented” at elite institutions, it follows
inexorably that no groups may be “overrepresented.”
Mathematically, when no one is underrepresented, no one is
overrepresented. Since Asians have more than triple their “proper share”
of places at the University of California , and quadruple their share at
Berkeley and UCLA, they are the chief obstacle to “equity” in higher
education.
A high-school counselor interviewed by Inside Higher Education denied
that the university officials who dreamed up the new plan were motivated
by anti-Asian prejudice. He contended that the drop in the number of
Asians admitted is just “collateral damage.” The metaphor misleads.
The new admissions policy is likely not motivated by a desire to cut back
on Asian enrollments but by a desire to expand the enrollments of other
groups. But if you can’t do much of the latter without a lot of the former, this
is a distinction without a difference.
– Stephan Thernstrom is Winthrop Research Professor of History at
Harvard University. His books include America in Black and White: One
Nation, Indivisible and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning,
both co-authored with his wife, Abigail.

2/5/09 Inside Higher Ed: “Unintentional Whitening of U. of California ?”
by Scott Jaschik
For several years now, the University of California has been debating plans to drop the SAT Subject Tests (formerly called the SAT II or achievement tests) and to find ways to consider more minority applicants.  The debate has focused on the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the SAT and how to promote diversity while not violating the state’s ban on affirmative action.
In the past few days, however, a new issue has started to attract attention: concerns that the admissions policy changes that are expected to be approved by the Board of Regents today could lead to a significant drop in the numbers of Asian-American applicants who are admitted — with the major gains going to white applicants.
According to data prepared by the university and just starting to receive attention, 36 percent of those admitted to the university system in 2007-8 were Asian Americans. Applying the new admissions standards, that percentage would drop to 29-32 percent. In contrast, white applicants made up 34 percent of those admitted in 2007-8. Under the proposed reforms, they would have made up 41 to 44 percent of the entering class.  The bottom line is that Asian Americans would shift from being the largest group gaining admission to the University of California to the second.
Some Asian American groups are calling on the Board of Regents to hold off on any vote today, raising questions about the fairness and wisdom of the changes being considered. (A board subcommittee approved the plan Wednesday, unanimously.)
“All of us share the goal of trying to preserve excellence as well as to promote diversity. But the gains for Latinos and African Americans in these projections are very small, while the decreases for Asian Americans and the gains for whites are quite large,” said Vincent Pan, president of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a national group based in California.
“There’s almost a swapping out of Asian students for white students. Let’s not rush this thing.”
But university leaders are playing down the demographic projections and defending the admissions plan, which emerged from the Academic Senate, a system-wide faculty group. Mark G. Yudof, president of the university, said in a statement of the proposal: “It also sends a clear message to California high school students that if they work hard, take challenging courses and do well, they will get to make their case for admission to UC.” The university system has been praised by faculty and student groups for the planned shift.
Admission to the University of California is enormously competitive, and families in the state long to be able to send children to its prestigious campuses, where they can be educated at top research universities at a fraction of what they would pay for a private institution. In California, race and admissions have been tangled and divisive for years. The success of Asian American students in winning admission to UC campuses has meant that those institutions are in many ways more diverse than much of American higher education. But the state’s ban on affirmative action in public university admissions has depressed the admission of black and Latino students.
The proposal before the Board of Regents today would do the following:
End the requirement that applicants submit two SAT Subject Test scores.
Narrow from the top 12.5 to the top 9 percent of high school graduates the percentage who will be guaranteed admission to the university system
(although not necessarily to the campus of their choice).
Expand the definition of applicants eligible for a full admission review to include all who complete 11 of 15 required high school courses by the end of their junior year, and achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.0
The last shift is expected to greatly expand the pool of those entitled to a full admissions review, where personal qualities and other factors may help
some win admission. Indeed those deemed eligible for a full review would go up in all racial and ethnic groups. But the gains in eligibility are not necessarily going to translate into gains in admissions for all groups — or into gains that reflect the gains in those eligible for a full review.

Projected Impact of Admissions Changes on Different Racial and Ethnic Groups

Group Projected Increase in Eligibility for Review % of 2007-8 Admits Under Current Policy  Estimates of Percentage of 2007-8 Class Admitted Under New Rules
Black +117% 4% 4-5%
Latino +86% 19% 19-22%
Asian +26% 36% 29-32%
White +77% 34% 41-44%

(Note: Numbers do not add to 100 because of “other” and students whose ethnicity is not known.)

There are various theories about why the numbers could change in these ways. The thinking behind dropping the SAT Subject Tests, according to the faculty panels that came up with the idea, is that they provide little information that helps admissions officers, but many black and Latino students appear less likely to take the exams, and have therefore been losing a shot at admission.
While some testing critics have welcomed the skepticism about the SAT Subject Tests, other educators have questioned whether the university is poised to drop the right test. A report out of the Center for Studies in Higher Education (part of the university’s Berkeley campus) last year found that the subject tests were better at predicting academic success and more equitable in treatment of minority students than the main SAT, which the university is keeping.
Pan, of Chinese for Affirmative Action, cited another possible explanation for why the changes could exclude Asian Americans. They, on average, do very well on the SAT Subject Tests. Defenders of those tests say that, compared to the primary SAT, the subject examinations more closely relate to the high school curriculum. “We think they are much better tests than the aptitude tests, and they provide an incentive for schools to focus on course performance,” Pan said.
He added that he believed students would do well on the subject tests only if they took rigorous courses in high school, and worked hard. “This leaves behind the SAT, which many companies use to make money on test prep,” he said. “It’s the wrong direction for UC.”
A spokesman for the university system said that at a meeting today, President Yudof stressed that the estimates about impact on enrollment were just rough estimates, and shouldn’t be seen as definitive. The university is much more confident about the figures about those who will be eligible for admission than those who would be admitted, the spokesman said.
Mary Croughan, an epidemiologist at the university’s San Francisco    campus and chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, said that the apparent disadvantage for Asian Americans is actually a result of their success. Such a large share of Asian American high school students already are eligible to be considered and win admission that their numbers couldn’t go up as much as those of other groups, she said.
“There is absolutely no desire to cut their numbers,” she said. “What we want is a University of California more accessible to all students.”
Asked about the charges of Asian groups that their students were following the rules, taking the right courses, demonstrating their course mastery and were now losing admissions slots, Croughan said that “parents know how to read the rules for admission and they do what they need to do.” She predicted that Asian Americans would continue to do well. She also said it is hard to predict exactly what will happen under the new system because the new rules could change student
behavior in high school.
Pan said that the real problem is that faculty at the university would like to restore affirmative action, but can’t say that. Repealing Proposition 209, which barred the consideration of race in admissions, makes a lot of sense, Pan said. “But that’s very difficult, and to some,
unachievable. Because they can’t politically say they want that, they are trying to accomplish something with this plan.”
Croughan strongly disputed that. “This is not a work-around on 209 by any stretch of the imagination,” she said. While adding that “there are significant reasons to repeal 209,” this is a different issue.
Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, a private institution known for having a top-notch student body, said that when University of California officials presented information about the planned changes at meetings of high school guidance counselors, they focused on how these changes would expand opportunities for disadvantaged students, and did not discuss a possible impact on Asian enrollments.
He said that any Asian students at his high school who lose a spot because of these changes would end up doing well elsewhere, as these students would learn about other good options. He said, however, that
he worried that plenty of Asian students at other high schools wouldn’t have access to that kind of information.
Reider also noted that Asian American leaders have “a history of being suspicious of UC admissions,” because of a sense of many that Asian applicants are held to a higher standard. Reider doesn’t think anti-Asian feeling is at play in these changes. “The intention is to broaden black and Latino eligibility,” he said. As for the white increases and Asian decreases, he added, “that is what in the military they call collateral damage.”

2/3/09 cbs5.com (KPIX TV San Francisco Oakland San Jose): Asian
American Leaders Call on UC Regents to Delay Action on Freshman
Eligibility Proposal
Asian-American leaders gathered today at Chinese for Affirmative
Action headquarters in San Francisco to call on the University of California
Board of Regents to delay action on a new proposal to alter freshman
admission eligibility.
The leaders, including UC Berkeley professor emeritus L. Ling-Chi
Wang, CAA executive director Vincent Pan and San Francisco Assessor-
Recorder Phil Ting, argued that if approved, the proposal would cause the
most significant structural changes to UC freshman admission policies
since the establishment of California ‘s Master Plan for Higher Education
in 1960.
Changes under the plan would include a reduction in statewide eligibility
from 12.5 percent to 9 percent of California high school graduates. However,
local eligibility, or the percentage of students accepted from each high
school in the state, would increase from 4 percent to 9 percent.
The selection of the remainder of the eligibility pool would be based on
campus review, and the SAT II achievement test would no longer be required
as part of the admission process.
The leaders argued that the proposal, scheduled for review by the regents
on Wednesday, should not be considered until it is thoroughly researched
and subjected to public and legislative examination.
Moreover, they believe the new proposal is especially disadvantageous to
Asian American applicants.
Henry Der, former chairman of the California Postsecondary Education
Commission, claimed that in-depth studies on the impact of the proposed
changes have not been conducted but that early indications show the
changes would not significantly increase the enrollment of underrepresented
minorities and that furthermore, the proposal would negatively impact Asian
American applicants.
That sentiment was echoed by Ting, a graduate of UC Berkeley, who said
the proposal would hurt diversity on UC campuses.
Calling the new proposal “very troubling” and the regents’ efforts to expand
the enrollment pool “fraudulent,” Der said the study shows that the
percentage of Hispanic and Asian American applicants will decrease.  “It is
not fair or just to change the rules of the game at this point,” Der said.  Der
claimed that the elimination of the SAT II is the most problematic aspect of
the proposal because it gives students the wrong signal.  “We need to signal
that what they have studied is important,” Der said.
Wang said that along with grade point averages, the SAT II is the best
predictor of college-level performance.
The regents will vote on the proposal at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at UCSF
Mission Bay Community Center, located at 1675 Owens St. , San Francisco.
11/20/08 The Berkeley Daily Planet: “Reader Commentaries: What We
Don’t Know About Changing UC’s Admission Standards,”
By Doug Ose
The University of California Board of Regents is considering a set of
sweeping changes to the UC system’s admissions criteria. Among the
proposed changes is the elimination of SAT Subject Tests as an admissions
requirement. Unlike the more comprehensive SAT, subject tests are
focused on one of 20 different academic areas ranging from physics and
chemistry to languages and fine art.
Critics of subject tests argue for maintaining high academic standards
and promoting diversity. A closer look tells a different story, one the regents
and the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS),
which proposed the changes, aren’t talking about.
A September 2008 report from the National Association for College
Admission Counseling noted that, “there are tests that, at many institutions,
are more predictive of first-year and overall grades in college and more
closely linked to the high school curriculum, including the College Board’s
AP exams and Subject Tests.” Eliminating subject tests in light of this
research defies common sense.
Further confounding common sense is a 2001 report by University of
California researchers who studied some 80,000 student records and
concluded that SAT Subject Tests combined with high school grades
were among the best predictors of college success.
Some call subject tests a “barrier” to admission in the UC system. What
we’re not told is the main reason cited for getting rid of them is that some
students don’t know the tests are required. This staggeringly simplistic
rationale raises legitimate questions about the wisdom of the regents’
willingness to consider admitting to the UC system students who cannot
understand the most fundamental step of entering college which is to apply
for it. The answer is for UC to better communicate its admissions
requirements, not eliminate them.
Diversity is also used as an argument for eliminating subject tests.
The facts show that subject tests play a critical role in admitting thousands
of deserving minority students. Data compiled by the College Board, which
administers SAT Subject Tests, shows that 10,010 students were admitted
to the UC system in 2007 as a direct result of subject tests. These students
had marginal scores on their SATs yet scored 700 or more on their subject
tests, demonstrating tremendous knowledge and merit.
Among these students last year were more than 4,800 children of
Hispanic, Mexican-American, or other Latino heritage, and more than
3,700 students from Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Island backgrounds.
To say that eliminating subject tests will improve diversity simply does not
hold water.
Another goal of the proposed changes is the desire for a “more holistic
admissions system.” However, eliminating empirical measures like SAT
Subject Tests could produce disastrous results. A “more holistic”
admissions program is underway at UCLA with potentially illegal fallout
amid allegations of violating Proposition 209, which banned race-based
admissions to California’s public colleges.
Professor Timothy Groseclose resigned from UCLA’s Committee on
Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools in August citing
evidence that, “strongly suggests that UCLA is cheating on admissions,”
and claiming the committee is engaged in a “cover-up” to prevent
disclosure of illegal activity. Why would the Board of Regents even
contemplate changes that invite similar mischief at other campuses?
A system-wide scandal of this nature would plunge UC into chaos and
degrade its reputation.
Changes to the UC admissions standards affect the lives of thousands
of students, the integrity of the institution and will have an impact for years
to come. Revising these standards demands thoughtful deliberation, not
the approach of UC regent and former Paramount Studios CEO Sherry
Lansing who confessed during the Sept. 18 regents meeting, “I became
a regent to get the SATs eliminated.” If this is the new standard for
determining admissions to the UC system, we all have reason to be
concerned for the future of the University of California and its legacy
of excellence.
For more information and ways to help please go to 
www.saveucstandards.com
.
Doug Ose is a former U.S. Congressman, representing California’s
District 3.

4/1/08 Cornell Sun: “Asian Community Center Plan Discussed at Forum”: The Asian student population has risen from just 4.5 percent in 1980 to 17.7 percent in 2007.

4/1/08 The Dartmouth: “College admits 2,190 applicants,”
By Anya Perret
Admissions to the Class of 2012 were the most selective in Dartmouth ‘s history – the College accepted just 13.2 percent of applicants, down from last year’s record 15.3 percent, the Admissions Office announced Monday. The College received a record 16,536 applications for admission into the Class of 2012 – 2,361 more applications than were submitted for the class of 2011.
Dartmouth offered admission to 2,190 of the applicants for the class of 2012, 400 of which were offered spaces during the early admissions process, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris ’84.
Admitted members to the Class of 2012 also set academic records, with 93.4 percent ranking in the top 10 percent of their secondary school’s graduating class, as opposed to last year’s 91 percent. Of those admitted, 38.5 percent are valedictorians, and 11.3 percent are salutatorians. The mean SAT scores for admitted students are 726 Verbal, 731 Math and 726 Writing.
Within the Class of 2012, 43 percent, 944 students, identify as students of color, the largest number and highest percentage in the College’s history. The Class of 2011 held the previous record, at 41 percent, although only 33 percent of students that chose to matriculate identify as students of color, Laskaris said.
In this year’s pool of accepted students, 403  [18.4%] identify as Asian-American; 224 [10.2%] identify as African-American; 216 [9.9%] identify as Latino; 82 [3.7%] identify as Native American and 19 [0.9%] identify as multi-racial.
Representing 59 nations, 178 international students make up 8 percent of the admitted students. The Class of 2011 is 9 percent international students.
4/1/08 Harvard Gazette: “A record pool leads to a record-low admission rate,”
A record applicant pool of 27,462 has led to an admission rate of 7.1 percent, the lowest in the history of Harvard College . Traditional admission letters (and e-mails) were sent on March 31 to 1,948 students. Last year 2,058 applicants were admitted from a pool of 22,955.
This year’s applicant pool reflects the level of excellence typical of recent years. For example, over 2,500 scored a perfect 800 on their SAT critical reading test; 3,300 scored 800 on the SAT math; and over 3,300 were ranked first in their high school classes.
A record 11 percent of admitted students are from African-American backgrounds, 18.5 percent are Asian American, 9.7 percent are Latino, and 1.3 percent are Native American.
7/13/08 New Jersey Star-Ledger: Princeton is accused of anti-Asian biases
by Ana M. Alaya
For decades, critics of affirmative action have contended elite colleges, in their zeal to form racially diverse student bodies, have discriminated against top white applicants.
In a twist on that long-running feud, federal authorities are investigating an allegation that Princeton University discriminates against Asian-American applicants by accepting black and Hispanic stu dents with lower entrance scores.
At the heart of both arguments lies the question of whether and how colleges should consider race when choosing a class. The Supreme Court has ruled race can be a factor in the process, though racial quotas have long been declared unconstitutional.
Critics say admission quotas remain a dirty little secret in academia.
“There is almost no other area that colleges consistently lie about,” said Russell Nieli, a professor in Princeton ‘s department of politics, who recently published an essay titled “Is there an Asian Ceiling?”
Princeton , for its part, denies using quotas. The university declined, however, to release admissions data broken down by race and test scores, spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said, “because we don’t want anyone to make the mistake that we make admissions decisions by category.”
The federal review at Princeton — which adamantly denies it discriminates against Asians — was sparked by a complaint filed in 2006 by Livingston High School graduate and Asian immigrant Jian Li. He claims he was rejected by Princeton and other elite universities despite graduating in the top 1 percent of his high school class, earning various honors outside the classroom and nailing perfect SAT scores.
Nieli said Li’s complaint, be cause it was made by an Asian- American, may carry more weight with proponents of racial preferences.
“The people making these decisions are post-’60s guilty white limousine liberals,” Nieli said. “They don’t take a protest by a white person as seriously as one by a Chinese or Japanese or Korean student.”
Others argue Asian students are wrongfully being used as racial mascots in the battle against affirmative action. Advocates claim affirmative action policies can help Asian students, because diverse classes help dispel lingering biases against minority groups.
“I have a hard time buying the argument that this particular student suffered serious harm,” said Vincent Pan, a Millburn native who now heads Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco . “There is a need to balance the private interest and the public interest, and in this case I think affirmative action does that well.”
Li, who could not be reached for comment, went to Yale and transferred to Harvard, according to other published reports.
In January, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights expanded its review be yond Li’s case to include all admissions policies for Asian-American students for the Class of 2010 at Princeton .
In his complaint, Li accused the Ivy League institutions of a “historical and ongoing” use of racial preferences for admissions, including bias against Jews at Princeton in the early 1900s.
He also cited a 2005 study by two Princeton researchers who found eliminating racial considerations at three unnamed elite universities would increase the admission rate for Asian Americans, while that of African-Americans and Hispanics would plum met.
At Princeton , race is one factor, including socioeconomic background, extracurricular talents and academic record, considered during the admissions process, Cliatt said. Building a diverse class is like forming an “orchestra,” that may need different talents from year to year, she added. About half the applicants with perfect SAT scores were ad mitted to the class Li applied to; 14 percent of that class is Asian. Almost half of Princeton ‘s incoming class this year are students of color.
A commitment to “acting affirmatively to ensure diversity,” Cliatt said, is not the same as discriminating.
Li’s complaint has been closely watched by the Ivy League schools, in part, because he asked for a suspension of federal funding to the university until it eliminates not only racial preferences, but also athletic preferences and legacy preferences, which universities historically give to children of alumni.
Ward Connerly, a former member of the University of California Board of Regents, and the architect of anti-affirmative action initiatives in California , Washington and Michigan , said the federal investigation is going to force “a very exacting examination of what Princeton is doing.” He said it will get the attention of universities nationwide, contending discrimination against Asian-Americans is widespread.
Still, proving discrimination at Princeton or any college may be difficult, because colleges don’t use a specific formula for admissions, according to David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Roughly 30 to 40 percent of colleges consider race in admissions, according to the association, and some 70 percent of institutions have a stated commitment to diversity.

7/13/08 www.discriminations.us: “Princeton Receives Weekly Chutzpah Award,”
by John Rosenberg
“What weekly chutzpah award?” you may well ask. You’re right. At the moment DISCRIMINATIONS doesn’t bestow a weekly chutzpah award, but if it did this week’s would go to Princeton .
Regular readers will be aware of Jian Li’s complaint that Princeton discriminates against Asian applicants by holding them to a higher standard than others, a case I discussed here http://www.discriminations.us/2006/11/preferences_as_a_zerosum_game.html. Li’s complaint is being investigated by the Department of Education, and in fact has been broadened, causing nervous jitters across all Ivy Leaguedom.
Today’s Trenton Star Ledger has an article <http://www.nj.com/starledger/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-11/12159237 422985 60.xml&coll=1> about Li’s case today that avoids most common pitfalls of mainstream media news coverage of racial preferences … except this one: author Ana M. Alaya writes:
“For decades, critics of affirmative action have contended elite colleges, in their zeal to form racially diverse student bodies, have discriminated against top white applicants.
In a twist on that long-running feud, federal authorities are investigating an allegation that Princeton University discriminates against Asian-American applicants by accepting black and Hispanic students with lower entrance scores.
At the heart of both arguments lies the question of whether and how colleges should consider race when choosing a class….”
But there is no new “twist” here; there is only one argument, not two: awarding benefits or burdens based on race is wrong, no matter who receives either burden or benefit. Ms. Alaya’s contrary assertion is rather like arguing that opposition to the state awarding preferential treatment to Jews and Catholics is really two arguments, rather than one argument based on the principle of separation of church and state.
But that slip pales into insignificance compared to the following remark that earned Princeton the much un-coveted DISCRIMINATIONS Chutzpah of the Week Award (or would if there were such an award):
” Princeton , for its part, denies using quotas. The university declined, however, to release admissions data broken down by race and test scores, spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said, “because we don’t want anyone to make the mistake that we make admissions decisions by category.””
Translated from diversity-speak, what Ms. Cass Cliatt is saying on behalf of Princeton is that the release of admissions data revealing that Asian applicants had to jump over a much higher hurdle might cause the gullible public to make the “mistake” of concluding that … Asian applicants had to jump over a much higher hurdle.
Nevertheless, it’s still not clear exactly why Princeton is afraid to release this data, since it claims to believe that discriminating against Asians is not really discrimination.
A commitment to “acting affirmatively to ensure diversity,” Cliatt said, is not the same as discriminating.
The problem here, as most people not entwined in the “diversity” industry and rationale can see, is that at places like Princeton “acting affirmatively to ensure diversity” requires acting negatively when evaluating the applications of a whole host of people like Jian Li.
But wait! There’s more entertainment from Ms. Cass Cliatt of Princeton .
“At Princeton , race is one factor, including socioeconomic background, extracurricular talents and academic record, considered during the admissions process, Cliatt said. Building a diverse class is like forming an “orchestra,” that may need different talents from year to year, she added….”
Excuse me, but don’t most orchestras have, well, quotas for their string, wind, percussion, etc., sections (or are these only “goals”?)?
In short, if words have meaning Princeton believes that choosing some applicants and rejecting others on the basis of their race or ethnicity is no different from filling a violin vacancy with a violinist.
Despite decades of tutelage to the contrary from Princeton et. al., liberals, Democrats, etc., most Americans continue to march to the tune of a different drummer, believing that everyone should be treated without regard to their race or ethnicity. Being black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or whatever, is simply not the same as playing an oboe or plucking a guitar.
And that’s not just whistlin Dixie .

6/11/08 Inside Higher Education: “Inquiry Into Alleged Anti-Asian Bias Expands,”
by Scott Jaschik
A complaint by an Asian American student that racial bias blocked his admission to Princeton University has been expanded by the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights into a broader “compliance review” of the issues involved beyond his case.
The complaint, filed in 2006, has been viewed as significant by critics of affirmative action who argue — as does the rejected applicant — that highly competitive colleges’ commitment to diversity results in differential standards for members of different groups, with Asian American applicants held to tougher standards. Many college officials — most of whom strongly support affirmative action — have dismissed the applicant’s complaint as sour grapes, noting that Princeton each year rejects thousands of well qualified applicants of every racial and ethnic group.
The Education Department, responding to an inquiry, acknowledged the shift of the investigation from focusing on one complaint to Princeton ’s entire admissions system and its treatment of Asian-American applicants. A department spokesman stressed that converting the investigation did not mean that officials had come to any conclusions about the original complaint. But at the very least, the shift suggests that the government does not view the complaint as frivolous. OCR regularly shuts down complaint investigations, concluding that no violation of the law took place, and the agency has limited resources for compliance reviews. Compliance reviews cover much more ground than any single complaint, tend to take place on issues that the department believes are important, and are sometimes used to nudge other colleges to change policies when they see how one college fared in a review.
Official OCR guidelines give three reasons for converting a single complaint into a compliance review: “(a) the complaint, because of its scope, involves systemic issues; (b) a compliance review would be the most effective means of addressing multiple individual complaints against the same recipient; or (c) the complainant decides to withdraw a complaint that includes class allegations.”
Cass Cliatt, a spokeswoman for Princeton , said that the university was pleased by the broadening of the investigation.
“We actually welcome the opportunity to talk about this,” Cliatt said. “There are a lot of misconceptions about how colleges and universities use the process. We’re happy to explain to OCR how we do this.” She stressed that the university in no way discriminates against any applicant on the basis of race or ethnicity.
Princeton received a then-record 17,564 applications to Princeton ’s class of 2010, the class to which the student who filed the complaint wanted to be admitted. The eventual class that enrolled had only 1,231 students, of whom 37 percent were American ethnic minorities and 14 percent were Asian Americans. Cliatt declined to release information on the SAT averages or grades of applicants of different racial or ethnic groups, saying that Princeton doesn’t analyze data in this way and that to do so would be confusing since Princeton does not evaluate individual applicants based on race or ethnicity. “We don’t want to have the mistaken belief that we are making categories when we are not,” she said.
The student who filed the original complaint against Princeton, Jian Li, arguably landed well after his rejection: He enrolled at Yale University . Li’s complaint stated that he received 800s on the mathematics, critical reading and writing parts of the SAT, that he graduated in the top 1 percent of his high school class, that he completed nine Advanced Placement classes by the time he finished high school, and that he had been active in extracurricular activities as well — serving as a delegate at Boys State, working in Costa Rica, etc. While Li left the ethnicity question blank on his application (as Princeton allows), he said that other questions that he was required to answer — his name, his mother’s and father’s names, his first language (Chinese), and the language spoken in his home (Chinese) — all made his ethnicity clear.
In letters sent by OCR to members of New Jersey ’s Congressional delegation, the investigation of Princeton is described as focusing on the allegation that the university discriminates against Asian American applicants. But Li’s complaint and the analysis behind it attempt to shift the debate more broadly to one about affirmative action.
Li is pointing to research by two Princeton scholars, published in Social Science Quarterly, that looked at admissions decisions at elite colleges. The scholars found that without affirmative action, the acceptance rate for African American candidates would be likely to fall by nearly two-thirds, from 33.7 percent to 12.2 percent, while the acceptance rate for Hispanic applicants probably would be cut in half, from 26.8 percent to 12.9 percent. While white admit rates would stay steady, Asian students would be big winners under such a system. Their admission rate in a race-neutral system would go to 23.4 percent, from 17.6 percent. And their share of a class of admitted students would rise to 31.5 percent, from 23.7 percent.
The complaint and the allegations of anti-Asian bias have been sensitive at Princeton and elsewhere. Princeton, like other elite colleges, changed admissions policies in the 1920s as the number of Jewish applicants appeared poised to rise, and adopted an emphasis on “character” that scholars say was used to minimize non-Protestant enrollments. While Princeton has long abandoned such policies, some Asian American students see similarities between the treatment of Jewish applicants then and Asian applicants today. Many guidance counselors at high schools with many top Asian American students report that their Asian American applicants appear to need significantly higher SAT scores or grades to win admission to highly competitive colleges than do members of other ethnic or racial groups.
When Li first filed his complaint, many Asian-American students at Princeton criticized him for not accepting a college denial. But when The Daily Princetonian’s joke issue last year featured a parody of Li, in mock Asian dialect, the satire infuriated many Asian American leaders on the campus and elsewhere and prompted broad debates over the status of Asian Americans at elite colleges.
Just this week, a report issued by the College Board and a panel of experts on Asian Americans made the case that despite the successes of some Asian American students, more attention needs to be paid to the many who don’t get 800 SAT’s or take nine AP courses. The report argued that affirmative action does not hold back Asian Americans and cited studies showing that Asian Americans benefit from affirmative action in some cases, such as law school admissions.
The section in the report on affirmative action briefly alluded to the study cited by Li that found that the elimination of affirmative action would get more Asian American applicants admitted to highly competitive colleges. The report argues that there are “no winners” in college systems losing black and Latino students, and warns that a focus on Asian American students and the impact of affirmative action on their admission bids are “excuses not to deal with the failure our education system and the complex and interwoven nature of how race and racism operate in the United States.”

4/2/08 Stanford Daily: “Room to remain for transfers- Stanford to accept transfer applicants despite halting of process at Harvard, Princeton , “
Director of Admission Shawn Abbott said a racial breakdown of the admitted class at Stanford – a record-low 9.5 percent of the 25,298 applicants – could not be provided to the public. “We never release any racial breakdowns of the admitted freshman class,” he said. “It has been the University’s long-standing policy not to do this.”
    [Translation: “We are Bigots for the Left. We are discriminating against Asian Americans and we don’t want to release statistics which would make our illegal actions obvious.”]
    Abbott did say that well over half of the 2,400 admits were students
of color. The Office of Admission also announced in its Friday
statement that 431 accepted students will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college or university.

3/28/08 Swarthmore College : “Swarthmore Admits 929 Students to Class of 2012- 15% Accepted from Record Pool of 6,118 Applications,”
Swarthmore College has sent letters of admission to prospective members of the Class of 2012. A total of 929 students have been accepted-15 percent of the record 6,118 who applied.  Based on previous admissions patterns, Swarthmore expects this group of admitted students to yield a first-year class of about 370 for next fall.
Fifty-three percent of all accepted students identify themselves as domestic students of color. Latino/a students make up 19 percent of the admitted class; Asian Americans 18 percent; and, African Americans, 15 percent. Four students self identify as Native American.
4/28/09 Tufts Daily: “Freshman admits to racial incident with KSA members,”
by Ben Gittleson
Freshman Daniel Foster admitted on Friday to making racial slurs toward,
threatening to kill and spitting at a group of Korean students, as part of an
apology in the framework of an agreement between him and the 13 members
of the Korean Students Association (KSA) whom he accosted during the early-
morning hours of April 9.
Foster and the KSA members reached the agreement over the past week
outside of university channels, although Dean of Student Affairs Bruce
Reitman largely accepted the terms of the deal.
As part of the agreement, Foster, who is white, said he would request that
the university suspend him for next semester and he would write a signed
apology that he would “cause to be published” in the Daily, not join a
fraternity as an undergraduate at Tufts, attend Alcoholics Anonymous
sessions and “anti-bias/anti-hate” courses, and enter into and receive
treatment from a therapist or mental health counselor.
“Mr. Foster wishes to make amends to the extent which is possible for
his inappropriate, offensive, and hurtful behavior, and all parties wish to
resolve this matter without litigation or other proceedings,” reads the
agreement, which Foster and the KSA members signed on Friday.
The agreement comes after a fight broke out between Foster and some
of the 13 KSA members shortly before 2 a.m. on April 9, as the Korean
students practiced for a culture show in the Lewis Hall main lounge. KSA
members initially alleged that Foster uttered racial slurs, made threats and
spat at them members after the violence ended.
Foster said in a statement later that day, though, that he shouted
obscenities and that a Korean student first pushed him. Until Friday’s
agreement, Foster had not publicly admitted to making racial slurs toward,
spitting at or threatening to kill the students. And Reitman said that Foster
also admitted drinking before the incident; Foster is underage.
The agreement and Foster’s apology did not mention the fight, however.
Instead, “[a]dvocates for the two sides said that all of the students wished
to dismiss their previous statements about any physical altercation,”
Reitman said in his statement; he told the Daily yesterday that the university
counsel had questioned the parties about this aspect after noticing its
omission from the document.
As part of the agreement, both sides said they would not take further
action, unless the document’s stipulations were breached.
In his statement, Reitman also said that the university would accept the
deal as long as Foster also completes an anger-management program and,
upon completion of his suspension, satisfies the Office of the Dean of
Student Affairs “that he has learned from this experience and will contribute
positively to the community.”
Reitman said his office respected the outcome of the parties’ deliberations,
even though they occurred outside of university channels, as “such efforts are
often more meaningful than those reached in fact-finding hearings.”
His office was thus reluctant to diverge from Foster’s and the KSA
members’ decision, he said, but still decided that more had to be done.
“[G]iven the seriousness of the behavior to which the one student has
admitted, I do not feel that his automatic return to the university community
after the suspension is appropriate,” Reitman said in the statement.
Outgoing KSA Co-President Tom Moon, one of the 13 KSA members
who signed the agreement, said that Foster first met with and admitted guilt
to the KSA members on Thursday. At first, Moon said, the Korean students
were not sure if Foster was sincere. The freshman said he sobbed the
night of the incident, according to Moon.
“We thought that yes, we thought that he could be sorry for what happened
… but he didn’t understand the extent of what he did and how it affected the
people,” Moon said, adding that the KSA members asked Foster why he
portrayed himself as a victim in his original statement to the Daily.
“I’m just relieved that it’s all over now, because now I can finally get back to
studying for finals,” Moon said. “I think that what happened was the right
outcome. I think that he should go to classes, he should have some
disciplinary mark to show what he did, to show how much he affected our
community.”
On the morning of April 9, Foster approached the students and mocked a
dance five of them were practicing; tensions rose and the KSA members
asked Foster to leave.
A short scuffle broke out, and both sides told the Daily later that day that
the other had started it. Foster said on April 16 that he received injuries to
his elbows, one shoulder, an area behind his ear, his neck and one of his
knees. At least one KSA member’s shirt was ripped, and one’s face was
scratched. Both parties have said the other side started the scuffle.
In his apology, Foster admitted to bothering members of the KSA who
were practicing a dance in the main lounge of Lewis Hall and spitting at the
KSA members.
He also admitted that he called the KSA members “‘chinks,’ told them to
‘go back to China ,’ told them that I would ‘get them,’ said ‘I am going to kill
you all,’ and probably other words that I do not remember.
“My guilt and shame have been eating me away inside,” Foster said in
the written apology, which appears in today’s Daily on page 20. “I am
genuinely sorry for the pain I have caused not only to the people directly
involved in the incident, but for every one [sic] else who was affected by the
words I said that night.”
Foster declined to comment further for this article.
“How many of us feel is, though he emotionally scarred us for our lives,
this is just another incident for him,” Moon added. “I feel like we got the worst
of it, because what we’re gaining through this agreement is basically nothing,
and this agreement is all about him getting better.”
The agreement came on Friday morning as five panelists gathered in a
room in Dowling Hall to convene an administrative hearing that would examine
whether the university’s code of conduct was breached during the April 9
confrontation.
That administrative hearing never took place. Instead, Reitman received
the details of the outside agreement and on Friday and Saturday considered
whether the university should accept it; the school was under no obligation
to do so, as the parties involved did not officially arrange it through Tufts.
Since the incident occurred earlier this month, the KSA has orchestrated
a campaign to spread the word about what happened. Hundreds of students,
faculty members, administrators and others on April 16 attended a rally on
the Tisch Library patio in response to the incident, which some called a hate
crime, and over 2,000 people have joined a Facebook.com group devoted
to it.
KSA members, other students and some faculty members have called on
the administration to take stronger action directly in response to the incident,
with many demanding diversity-related curriculum changes.
Administrators have spoken out against bias incidents in general but had
largely been careful not to comment directly about this incident until an
ongoing judicial investigation had wrapped up.
Moon, the outgoing KSA co-president, said that the whole incident has
left him and his fellow group members hurt, as well as angry at the
administration.
“We actually wanted the administration to send the apology letter out
through the university e-mail,” he said. “They haven’t really … tried
to support us at all. And the reason that we decided to go through with the
outside agreement is because [the administration] didn’t do enough about
it early enough.”

4/19/09 Boston Globe: “Alleged racial incident stuns Tufts,”
by Peter Schworm and Tracy Jan
Allegations of racism are roiling the Tufts University campus after an allegedly drunk freshman and members of a Korean student group got into fisticuffs earlier this month in a dorm lounge.
The freshman, who is white, approached five men from the group who were practicing a dance for an upcoming cultural show and insisted the dancers teach him their moves, according to the school newspaper and a news release from the Korean Students Association.
When the dancers refused and asked him to leave, the freshman responded with expletives, called them “gay,” spat on them, and threatened to kill them, according to one written account.
A fight ensued and the dancers pinned the freshman to the floor, put him in a headlock, and let him go only when he said he could not breathe, said a written account of the incident from the Korean Students Association. The freshman then allegedly spewed a string of racial epithets, yelling at the Korean students to “Go back to China .”
The freshman acknowledged in a statement given to the student paper, The Tufts Daily, that he shouted obscenities after the fight but the statement did not mention any racial slurs.
“In the aftermath of the dispute, members were shocked and saddened that such racism and hostility could be found at our school,” the students association wrote in an e-mail.
Bruce Reitman, dean of students, assured students via a communitywide e-mail that the university is investigating the incident he described as “apparently involving a physical altercation and racial epithets.”
“We want the community to know that we take seriously our responsibility to pursue this incident and to ensure a safe and supportive environment on campus for all our students,” Reitman wrote.
About 200 people gathered at a campus rally Thursday to demand that the university administration make institutional changes to ensure that students from all backgrounds are safe on campus. Among those present: Councilor Sam Yoon, Boston ‘s first Asian-American councilor and a mayoral candidate.
Jenny Lau, a Tufts junior and incoming co-president of the Asian American Alliance, a student group, said the incident represented a more widespread problem on campus. In recent years, she said, Tufts students have targeted their African-American, Muslim, and gay peers by making stereotypical jokes against them in campus publications and defacing property.
“Time and time again, these sorts of incidents have happened that go against a safe campus environment that all students should be entitled to,” Lau said.
2/5/09 Inside Higher Ed: “Unintentional Whitening of U. of California ?”
by Scott Jaschik
For several years now, the University of California has been debating plans to drop the SAT Subject Tests (formerly called the SAT II or achievement tests) and to find ways to consider more minority applicants.
The debate has focused on the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the SAT and how to promote diversity while not violating the state’s ban on affirmative action.
In the past few days, however, a new issue has started to attract attention: concerns that the admissions policy changes that are expected to be
approved by the Board of Regents today could lead to a significant drop in the numbers of Asian-American applicants who are admitted — with the major gains going to white applicants.
According to data prepared by the university and just starting to receive attention, 36 percent of those admitted to the university system in 2007-8 were Asian Americans. Applying the new admissions standards, that percentage would drop to 29-32 percent. In contrast, white applicants made up 34 percent of those admitted in 2007-8. Under the proposed reforms, they would have made up 41 to 44 percent of the entering class.  The bottom line is that Asian Americans would shift from being the largest group gaining admission to the University of California to the second.
Some Asian American groups are calling on the Board of Regents to hold off on any vote today, raising questions about the fairness and wisdom of the changes being considered. (A board subcommittee
approved the plan Wednesday, unanimously.)
“All of us share the goal of trying to preserve excellence as well as to promote diversity. But the gains for Latinos and African Americans in these projections are very small, while the decreases for Asian Americans and the gains for whites are quite large,” said Vincent Pan, president of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a national group based in California.
“There’s almost a swapping out of Asian students for white students. Let’s not rush this thing.”
But university leaders are playing down the demographic projections and defending the admissions plan, which emerged from the Academic Senate, a system-wide faculty group. Mark G. Yudof, president of the university, said in a statement of the proposal: “It also sends a clear message to California
high school students that if they work hard, take challenging courses and do well, they will get to make their case for admission to UC.” The university system has been praised by faculty and student groups for the planned shift.
Admission to the University of California is enormously competitive, and families in the state long to be able to send children to its prestigious campuses, where they can be educated at top research universities at a fraction of what they would pay for a private institution. In California, race and admissions have been tangled and divisive for years. The success of Asian American students in winning admission to UC campuses has meant that those institutions are in many ways more diverse than much of American
higher education. But the state’s ban on affirmative action in public university admissions has depressed the admission of black and Latino students.
The proposal before the Board of Regents today would do the following:
End the requirement that applicants submit two SAT Subject Test scores.
Narrow from the top 12.5 to the top 9 percent of high school graduates the percentage who will be guaranteed admission to the university system
(although not necessarily to the campus of their choice).
Expand the definition of applicants eligible for a full admission review to include all who complete 11 of 15 required high school courses by the end of their junior year, and achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.0
The last shift is expected to greatly expand the pool of those entitled to a full admissions review, where personal qualities and other factors may help
some win admission. Indeed those deemed eligible for a full review would go up in all racial and ethnic groups. But the gains in eligibility are not necessarily going to translate into gains in admissions for all groups — or
into gains that reflect the gains in those eligible for a full review.

Projected Impact of Admissions Changes on Different Racial and Ethnic Groups

Group Projected Increase in Eligibility for Review % of 2007-8 Admits Under Current Policy  Estimates of Percentage of 2007-8 Class Admitted Under New Rules
Black +117% 4% 4-5%
Latino +86% 19% 19-22%
Asian +26% 36% 29-32%
White +77% 34% 41-44%

(Note: Numbers do not add to 100 because of “other” and students whose ethnicity is not known.)

There are various theories about why the numbers could change in these ways. The thinking behind dropping the SAT Subject Tests, according to the faculty panels that came up with the idea, is that they provide little information that helps admissions officers, but many black and Latino students appear less likely to take the exams, and have therefore been losing a shot at admission.
While some testing critics have welcomed the skepticism about the SAT Subject Tests, other educators have questioned whether the university
is poised to drop the right test. A report out of the Center for Studies in Higher Education (part of the university’s Berkeley campus) last year found that the
subject tests were better at predicting academic success and more equitable in treatment of minority students than the main SAT, which the university is keeping.
Pan, of Chinese for Affirmative Action, cited another possible explanation for why the changes could exclude Asian Americans. They, on average, do very well on the SAT Subject Tests. Defenders of those tests say that,
compared to the primary SAT, the subject examinations more closely relate to the high school curriculum. “We think they are much better tests than the aptitude tests, and they provide an incentive for schools to focus on course performance,” Pan said.
He added that he believed students would do well on the subject tests only if they took rigorous courses in high school, and worked hard. “This leaves behind the SAT, which many companies use to make money on
test prep,” he said. “It’s the wrong direction for UC.”
A spokesman for the university system said that at a meeting today, President Yudof stressed that the estimates about impact on enrollment were just rough estimates, and shouldn’t be seen as definitive. The
university is much more confident about the figures about those who will be eligible for admission than those who would be admitted, the spokesman said.
Mary Croughan, an epidemiologist at the university’s San Francisco   campus and chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, said that the apparent disadvantage for Asian Americans is actually a result of their success. Such a large share of Asian American high school students already are eligible to be considered and win admission that their numbers couldn’t go up as much as those of other groups, she said.
“There is absolutely no desire to cut their numbers,” she said. “What we want is a University of California more accessible to all students.”
Asked about the charges of Asian groups that their students were following the rules, taking the right courses, demonstrating their course mastery and were now losing admissions slots, Croughan said that
“parents know how to read the rules for admission and they do what they need to do.” She predicted that Asian Americans would continue to do well. She also said it is hard to predict exactly what will happen under the new system because the new rules could change student
behavior in high school.
Pan said that the real problem is that faculty at the university would like to restore affirmative action, but can’t say that. Repealing Proposition 209, which barred the consideration of race in admissions, makes a lot of sense, Pan said. “But that’s very difficult, and to some,
unachievable. Because they can’t politically say they want that, they are trying to accomplish something with this plan.”
Croughan strongly disputed that. “This is not a work-around on 209 by any stretch of the imagination,” she said. While adding that “there are significant reasons to repeal 209,” this is a different issue.
Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, a private institution known for having a top-notch student body, said that when University of California officials presented
information about the planned changes at meetings of high school guidance counselors, they focused on how these changes would expand opportunities for disadvantaged students, and did not discuss a possible impact on Asian enrollments.
He said that any Asian students at his high school who lose a spot because of these changes would end up doing well elsewhere, as these students would learn about other good options. He said, however, that
he worried that plenty of Asian students at other high schools wouldn’t have access to that kind of information.
Reider also noted that Asian American leaders have “a history of being suspicious of UC admissions,” because of a sense of many that Asian applicants are held to a higher standard. Reider doesn’t think anti-Asian feeling is at play in these changes. “The intention is to broaden black and Latino eligibility,” he said. As for the white increases and Asian decreases, he added, “that is what in the military they call collateral
damage.”

 

9/7/08 Los Angeles Times: “Opinion: How UC is rigging the admissions
process; Officials are perverting the law in a desperate attempt to
increase black enrollment,”
by Heather Mac Donald
Ever since California voters banned the use of racial preferences in
government and education in 1996, the University of California has
tried to engineer admissions systems that would replicate the effect of
explicit racial quotas while appearing color-blind.
To some observers, the legality of those efforts has long been suspect,
but proof of wrongdoing has been hard to come by. Now a professor
who sat on UCLA’s committee on undergraduate admissions is
charging that the school is deliberately taking race into account when
deciding which students to admit. The university has refused to give him
access to the data to test his claim, prompting the professor — political
science faculty member Tim Groseclose — to resign from the school’s
admissions oversight committee in protest.
UCLA’s stonewalling is misguided and futile. Though the University of
California has always jealously guarded information on its students’
qualifications and its admissions procedures, enough details have
come out over the last 10 years to suggest that race remains a factor in
many parts of the system. More important, hard evidence is accumulating
that enrolling students in a college for which they are academically
unprepared does them a disservice.
The story begins with the passage of Proposition 209, the 1996
anti-quota ballot initiative, which reduced the number of African
Americans admitted to campuses across the state and sent UC officials
into crisis mode. They began implementing a series of admissions
changes intended to bring underqualified blacks and Latinos back to the
system’s most demanding campuses.
They tried a preference scheme for low-income students, but it
backfired when it boosted the number of Eastern European and
Vietnamese admissions — not the sort of “diversity” the university had
in mind. Administrators cut the low-income preferences in half and went
back to the drawing board.
The subsequent admissions gambits, which continue to be rolled out
to this day, are intended to increase “diversity” without running afoul of
the law. Whether they have succeeded in substituting other factors for
race in a permissible manner, or whether they are illegally seeking to
pervert the requirements of the law, will probably be decided, in the end,
in court.
Berkeley ‘s Boalt law school, for example, reduced the role of academic
qualifications in ranking students; the resulting disparities between
minorities and whites at the school were enormous. In 2002, Boalt
admitted only 5% of white students in a low academic rank, but it
admitted 75% of black applicants in the same range.
At UCLA, from 1998 to 2001, black applicants were 3.6 times as
likely to be admitted to its undergraduate college as whites, and
Latinos 1.8 times as likely, even after controlling for economic status
and school ranking, according to an unpublished study by statistician
Richard Berk.
The most powerful tool that the University of California has come
up with to engineer such outcomes is something it calls “comprehensive
review,” which, as the president’s office delicately put it in 2003,
“broadens the conception of merit.” Under comprehensive review,
a student’s academic qualifications are boosted or demoted according
to various factors, including his or her life situation — whether he or she
lives in a high-crime neighborhood, has been a shooting victim, is a
single parent or comes from a single-parent home, for example.
Even with such a relativist take on academic credentials, UCLA still
faced a dearth of qualified black students. In 2005, under enormous
political pressure to increase the low black enrollment at UCLA, acting
Chancellor Norman Abrams all but demanded that the faculty adopt a
more radical version of comprehensive review — “holistic” review —
which deconstructs the idea of objective academic merit even further.
UCLA’s associate vice provost for student diversity also directed the
admissions committee to increase the number of blacks who read and
rate student applications, resulting in a 25% black representation
among readers, more than three times the ratio in California ‘s population.
Abrams had assured the black community that UCLA would increase
its black admissions rate, and sure enough, holistic review did just that.
For 2006-07, the last year under the old system, UCLA admitted 250
black students; the next year, it admitted 407.
The average combined SAT score for black admits dropped 45
points to a level about 300 points lower than the average among white
and Asian admissions, according to a report by Groseclose. Blacks’
chances of admission rose from 11.5% to 16.5%, while that of
Vietnamese students, who tend to come from poorer households,
dropped from 28.6% to 21.4%.
Groseclose wanted to evaluate whether a student’s mention of his
race on his application essay affected his chance of admission under
holistic review. The university refused to turn over the necessary data,
citing privacy concerns. But its reasoning is specious. The essence
of the university is transparency. Groseclose has promised to abide
by all applicable privacy restrictions. He has even offered not to
publish his findings anywhere but to use them only to advise UCLA
on its compliance with the law.
Even if UCLA continues to keep Groseclose away from its data,
the flimsy justifications for racial double standards are crumbling just
as fast as the myth that they no longer exist at the University of California .
Students admitted with drastically lower qualifications than their
school’s norm frequently end up in the bottom of their class and take
much longer to graduate, if they graduate at all. UCLA law professor
Richard Sander has shown that black law students, almost all of whom
receive large racial preferences in law school admissions, are six
times as likely as whites to fail the bar after multiple efforts. The reason,
Sander has argued persuasively, is that students learn less in an
academic environment pitched over their heads than they would in a
school that matches their capabilities. Thus, racial double standards
can end up hurting black and Latino students rather than helping them.
Yet UC administrators continue to devise new schemes to admit
poorly qualified minority students to their most competitive campuses
on the ground that objective tests of academic merit are not related
to subsequent performance. The fact is, nothing else comes close to
the predictive power of aptitude and other objective tests — including
the “spark” and “leadership” qualities that UC administrators purport
to be seeking these days.
The academic elitism behind the effort to shoehorn underqualified
black and Latino students into UC’s flagship schools is an insult to the
rest of California ‘s college and university system. The proportion of
underrepresented minorities in the UC system as a whole has returned
to its pre-209 levels. “Irrelevant!” say preference supporters. Berkeley
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has complained that there are not
enough black and Latino students at Berkeley to provide minority
communities with the “leadership” they need — in other words, don’t
expect UC Riverside or Cal State Long Beach to graduate “community
leaders.” But if attending Cal State Northridge or Santa Monica
Community College would so impair the life chances of black and
Latino students, why should any student be subjected to such a fate?
Why not close down all second- and third-tier schools so that everyone
can get an elite degree?
The energies that have been expended since 1996 to re-create a
full-blown preference regime have been wasted. While UC race
advocates have fiddled with their admissions criteria, the test score
gap in California has widened. Blacks’ average math SATs in 2007
were 429, compared to 564 for Asians and 549 for whites, according
to the California Department of Education. On reading, blacks scored
438, compared to 510 for Asians and 541 for whites. The dropout
rate in 2007 was 41.6% for blacks, 15.2% for whites and 10.2% for
Asians.
These figures reveal the true educational crisis in California: It is
in the state’s elementary and high schools and in its homes, not in
the universities. If, over the last decade, pro-preference faculty
members and administrators had devoted their considerable talents
to tutoring minority students and convincing them and their families
that learning is important, Groseclose’s whistle-blowing might not
have been needed.
Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal.

9/4/08 National Review: “Ducking Colorblindness: A UCLA professor
blows the whistle on the persistence of racial preferences,”
by Robert VerBruggen
University of Los Angeles political science professor Tim Groseclose
publishes studies that get <http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-666.aspx?RelNum=6664>
noticed, and even participated on the school’s faculty admissions
committee, which oversees the staff that chooses each year’s new
undergrads.
Still, he’s lucky he has tenure. Last Thursday, Groseclose resigned
from the admissions committee, in protest of the school’s behavior
when it comes to racial preferences.
Such preferences ought not to be an issue at UCLA – according to
California ‘s Proposition 209, “The state shall not discriminate
against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group
on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the
operation of . . . public education.” Prop 209 was passed in 1996,
but it’s no secret that campuses in the left-leaning state – Berkeley
and UCLA in particular – have been defying the will of California ‘s
electorate.
Heather Mac Donald detailed <http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_1_prop209.html>
as much in City Journal last year; and now, Groseclose has made
public an 89-page report blowing the whistle, complete with closed-
door conversations, private e-mails, and a chronicle of his school’s
sketchy handling of data that could prove or disprove his suspicions.
Basically, Groseclose alleges that changes to the scoring system
improved the likelihood that a personal essay – in which applicants
often mention their race – would get a student admitted.
Groseclose’s documentation makes clear that the committee –
despite Prop 209’s clear injunction against public institutions using
race-based preferences – soldiered on in its drive to engineer each
class’s racial makeup. Without the individual-level data Groseclose
seeks, it’s impossible to tell how much the racial bean-counters were
able to distort the school’s admissions process, but the available
numbers strongly suggest that race played a significant role in
shaping the school’s 2007 freshman class.
Groseclose joined the admissions committee in September of 2005.
“At least 75 percent of what we discussed related to race and
improving diversity,” he said in a phone interview. “There’s pressure
on the admissions staff [to let in more minorities]. They’re constrained
by Prop 209.  So it’s a very tough situation for those staff, and I kind of
feel sorry for them.”
In June 2006, the Los Angeles Times ratcheted up the intensity with
“A Startling Statistic at UCLA,” <http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jun/03/local/me-ucla3>
a front-page story revealing that of the 4,853 freshmen expected to
enroll at the school, only 96, or 2 percent, were black. (Eventually, four
more blacks enrolled than were expected to, for a total of 100.)
“At the end-of-summer meeting of my committee, the chancellor
[Norm Abrams] shows up, which never happens,” Groseclose says.
“He said the number of African-Americans was too low. He said, ‘I
don’t want to pressure you, but here’s what I want you to do.'”
The chancellor suggested the committee adopt a “holistic” system,
which Berkeley was using at the time. The New York Times would later
describe the change thus:
In the past, the admissions office divided every application between
two readers: one evaluated a student’s academic record, the other looked
at extracurricular activities and “life challenges.”  Berkeley , by contrast,
had taken a more holistic approach, with a single reader judging an entire
application, and Berkeley was attracting more black students than U.C.L.A.
Why? Maybe the holistic approach takes better account of the subtle
obstacles that black students face – or maybe the readers, when looking
at a full application, ended up practicing a little under-the-table affirmative
action.
The Times reporter interviewed two application readers – about a
quarter of readers were black, and Groseclose writes that some were
selected under explicit direction to “hire underrepresented minorities”-
who had been told not to consider race and claimed they hadn’t. But one
reader noticed that more students mentioned race in their essays.
Some weird things happened statistically the following year. The 100
black students who enrolled in 2006 came from an applicant pool of
2,173 and an acceptance pool of 249, meaning that 11.5 percent of
black students who applied got in – but only about 40 percent of those
chose to attend. But in 2007, 2,460 blacks applied, 407 were admitted,
and 204 enrolled – an outsize 16.5 percent of applicants got in, 50
percent of whom matriculated.
One might argue that the school’s recruiting efforts simply paid off –
it is not illegal to target minority areas in recruiting. Perhaps recruiters
not only got more blacks to apply, but got enough high-achieving blacks
to apply to significantly and legitimately boost blacks’ admission rate.
But then, why would admitted blacks’ average SAT score drop 45 points?
Alternately, one could say the university just considered disadvantage
in general more than it had in the past – this would let in more poor,
lower-scoring students, raising the acceptance rates but lowering the
average scores of disproportionately poor groups. But acceptance rates
for American Indians, Hispanics, and other minorities actually fell.
“If you take a random Vietnamese applicant, the probability of
acceptance went down significantly, from 28.6 to 21.4 percent,”
Groseclose says. “And when you look at these applications, the ones
who have faced documented, verifiable family hardships are very
often Vietnamese.”
A detailed statistical analysis is the only way to know for sure what
role race played in the admissions process. So in April of this year,
Groseclose made waves by requesting a random sample of 1,000
applications, 500 each from 2006 and 2007. This would let him
compare, within each year and between years, how similarly situated
individuals of different races fared in the admissions process.
“The reaction was immediate – within 18 hours, the chair suggested
we have the whole committee do the study. I said I’d be happy to
participate, but I’d like to do my own as well,” Groseclose recalls.
He didn’t get data for his own study, “and it turned out the committee
would not get the data, either. We’d hire an outside expert to do the
study – despite the fact that nearly all of us have the statistical
ability needed.”
Groseclose tried other methods. He made a motion to get all
committee members a sample of random applications, which failed
on a 3-3 vote (three other non-voting members wrote letters
supporting Groseclose). He appealed to higher authorities at the
university, who denied him access, purportedly for privacy reasons.
Four member of the admissions committee – Groseclose, and
the three who voted against his motion to give all members the
data – formed a work group to choose an outside academic and
devise research questions. They chose sociologist Robert Mare,
but directed Mare not to look at the 2006 or 2007 data – just the
2008 applications. Thus, Mare will be unable to determine how
the “holistic” approach changed admissions, and to detect any illegal
behavior that occurred in 2007 but not 2008.
Groseclose doubts the staff stopped using preferences in 2008;
all the admissions decisions were probably made before he came
forward with his objections. But 2007 might have been a
particularly egregious year: “We had [pro-affirmative action]
protests at the chancellor’s office, and we had an acting chancellor
at the time – he was the one who showed up at our meeting.  He
was a lot more likely to put pressure on people.”
In the report, Groseclose provides a transcription of a meeting
where one committee member slipped up while discussing the 2007
applications: “The readers in the first year, given the change, were
not doing exactly what they were supposed to do. They were
motivated by other concerns. . . . maybe the training wasn’t as
rigorous.” Another replied, “All those T-shirts that said,
‘Got black students?'”
Mare’s data collection won’t begin until spring of 2009. In the
meantime, the conversations and statistics in Groseclose’s report
should be more than enough to make California voters suspicious
about their public universities’ commitment to adhering to colorblind
admissions. They deserve better than the evasion they’re getting.
– Robert VerBruggen edits NRO’s > Phi Beta Cons blog.
<http://phibetacons.nationalreview.com/&gt;

8/30/08 Los Angeles Times: “UCLA accused of illegal admissions
practices. A professor resigns as an admissions committee member,
saying the university is factoring race into acceptance decisions, a violation
of state law.”
By Seema Mehta
Arguing that UCLA admissions policies are being manipulated to
circumvent the state’s ban on consideration of applicants’ race, a professor
there has resigned from a faculty committee that he says refused to allow
him to study the matter.
Political science professor Tim Groseclose resigned Thursday from the
Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools,
saying high-ranking university administrators and fellow committee members
are engaged in a “coverup” to block illegal activity from being discovered.
“A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that UCLA is cheating on admissions,” he wrote in an 89-page report posted on a UCLA website.
University officials called the report unsubstantiated and argued that
Groseclose took a rise in the university’s enrollment of black students as
evidence that admissions officials were tampering with the process, without considering other factors such as increased outreach activities.
“He’s taking an outcome and from that deducing a cause,” said Tom
Lifka, associate vice chancellor for student academic services.
Proposition 209, a 1996 voter initiative, bars California’s public
universities from considering race and other factors such as religion in the
admissions process. In ensuing years, the number of black students at
UCLA and many other UC campuses dwindled. By 2006, only 103
entering freshmen and 108 transfer students at UCLA were black, the
lowest level in more than three decades.
Prompted by campus and community concerns about the lack of student
diversity, UCLA decided in 2006 to move to a “holistic” application process,
in which applicants’ grades, test scores, extracurricular activities and other
factors were no longer reviewed separately. Rather, achievements could
be considered in the context of their personal experiences, Lifka said.
UCLA officials have said the new process is fairer to all applicants, and
they have emphasized that admissions officials continue to abide by the
restrictions imposed by Proposition 209.
Yet, since the admissions change was implemented, starting with the
class that entered UCLA in fall 2007, the number of black students on
campus has edged up. This fall, for example, 230 of 4,889 freshmen are
African American, along with 100 transfer students. University officials
attribute this increase to the holistic approach, as well as community
outreach.
But Ward Connerly, a former UC regent who helped lead the drive for
Proposition 209, said Groseclose’s report buttressed his suspicions that
university officials may be violating the law in their efforts to boost the
number of black students on campus. His organization, American Civil
Rights Institute, will probably file suit against the university in coming
months, he said.
“They caved under the pressure from the NAACP and others in Los
Angeles who want to see an increase in the number of black students,”
Connerly said. “There are so many ways you can rig the system.”
Attempts to reach Groseclose on Friday were unsuccessful, but he
wrote in his report that admissions officials often learned of students’
race in personal application essays, and factored it into admissions
decisions.
“It is obvious that the admissions staff was under intense pressure
to admit more African Americans,” he wrote.
He noted that black applicants’ chances of admission increased
with the holistic approach, while acceptance rates of other low-income
students declined, particularly among Vietnamese, a point Lifka did
not dispute.
Groseclose said in the report that he requested access to student
applications to study the matter but was denied because of what he
was told were privacy concerns. The university turned to another
UCLA professor to conduct the research.
“Because I cannot properly conduct the duties with which I am
charged as a member of CUARS, I am therefore resigning, in protest,
from the committee,” Groseclose wrote. “To do otherwise would
condone and make me complicit in what appears to be illegal activity.”
Lifka responded that the university uses 165 application readers
and that they are told not to consider race. Each application is
randomly distributed to two readers, so their ability to collude would
be difficult, he said.
Lifka said it was vital for the university to pick a researcher who did
not have a stated position on the admissions debate. “This is a highly
charged political issue,” he said.
The subject of whether Groseclose ought to have access to the
data divided the committee. Attempts to reach several committee
members were unsuccessful, and one said she had been told to refer
media calls to the university.
Duncan Lindsey, a public affairs professor and a committee
member, said he disagreed with Groseclose’s beliefs that race was
factored into admissions decisions, but strongly supported allowing
him access to data. “We’re a public university,” Lindsey said.
In his report, Groseclose wrote that diversity could be increased
without violating the law, perhaps by admitting students who finish in
the top 1% of their high school class.
Connerly said students ought to be told that any mention of race
in applications would be grounds for denial.
University officials called that idea untenable and noted that
Proposition 209 also bars admissions based on other factors, such
as gender.
“Where do we draw the line?” UCLA spokeswoman Claudia
Luther asked.

7/17/08 The Daily Californian Online: “Regents Debate Proposal to Water Down UC Freshman Admissions Policy In Order To Reduce the Number of Asian Americans”
by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Discussion of a proposal to change the university’s freshman admissions policy yielded to confusion and debate at a UC Board of Regents committee meeting yesterday on whether the proposal’s adoption would be positive for the UC system.
“The purpose (of the proposal) is to provide a broader swath of students the opportunity to make the case that they’re qualified for the UC,” said UC Davis professor Mark Rashid, chair of the university faculty’s Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, which drafted the proposal.
In particular, the proposal to lower the required GPA for UC eligibility from a weighted 3.0 to an unweighted 2.8 drew some negative reactions from the regents.
Regent Judith Hopkinson expressed concern about lowering the minimum GPA, which she said could make a huge impact on the state’s K-12 system.
Another point of contention surrounds changing measures of statewide eligibility and local eligibility. Current local eligibility policy provides that the top 4 percent of students in their respective California high schools are automatically UC eligible. Statewide eligibility provides that the top 12.5 percent of all California students are also UC eligible, as outlined by the California Master Plan for Higher Education.
If the regents pass the proposal, which would take effect for freshmen entering the university in fall 2012, the top 9 percent of students in their high schools and the top 9 percent of students in the state would be guaranteed eligibility.
Regent George Marcus noted that the changes, while widening the pool of eligible students, might also have unintended consequences, such as a negative public perception of the university.
“Basically, we’re going to take a seat away from someone who followed the rules for someone who didn’t follow the rules; we’re lowering our standards,” Marcus said, in what he called a “gross generalization” of how the public could perceive the changes.
Though many of the regents expressed their admiration for the work of Rashid and his board members, others said they were concerned about the proposal’s impact and troubled by the lack of time to review the proposal.
“We need to get on with this, but I want to do it in a way where everyone around the table has had all their questions answered and all the information to make an informed decision,” said Regent Eddie Island , chair of the Educational Policy Committee, in which the proposal was considered.
The committee is slated to resume discussion about the proposal today, and a vote on whether to implement the changes is expected this afternoon.
7/17/08 U.S. News: “To Reduce Number of Asian Americans, UC Discusses Radical Change to Admissions,”
Admissions to the University of California could see a major overhaul for the freshman class of 2012, a change meant to open up the university to low-income, minority, rural, and inner-city students, the Daily Californian reports.
The proposal, discussed in length at the UC regents meeting yesterday, would lower grade-point average minimums, emphasize class rankings, drop the requirement for SAT subject tests, and guarantee admissions for the top 9 percent of senior classes, as opposed to the 4 percent currently in use.
“This represents the biggest change in [UC’s] eligibility policy since there has been an eligibility policy,” said Mark Rashid, the UC-Davis engineering professor who chaired the faculty committee that developed the proposal.
The plan would also relax college-prep course and test score standards and reduce UC’s guaranteed admissions target, giving flexibility to find students who have not met the junior-year eligibility requirements but can show they are on the right track. “The purpose [of the proposal] is to provide a broader swath of students the opportunity to make the case that they’re qualified for the UC,” Rashid said.
The plan would most likely not affect the system’s elite campuses, such as Berkeley and Los Angeles , but less selective colleges could “see a substantial shift in the makeup of their freshman classes,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Several regents remain skeptical, and new UC President Mark Yudof, attending his first regents meeting yesterday, has asked for more time to review the changes. Said a UC regent: “This is too important to rush through and too important to delay.”
4/14/08 press release, www.universityofcalifornia.edu:
    UC admitted a record number of freshman students for the fall 2008 term.
A total of 60,008 California high school seniors were offered admission, a 4.7 percent increase of admitted students (+2,690) over the fall 2007 term (57,318). Overall, 75.3 percent of fall 2008 California freshman applicants have been offered admission to the university, compared with 77.4 percent for fall 2007. The decline in the admissions rate is attributed to the fact that the growth in the number of applicants outpaced the growth in the number of admissions offers. The university will offer a space to every California resident applicant who is UC-eligible.
Nearly 9 out of 10 admitted students are California residents. Admissions offers to out-of-state and international students numbered 7,545, an increase of over fall 2007 (6,283), and bringing the total number of applicants offered admission to the fall term to 67,553 students.
Universitywide, the admission of Chicano/Latino students increased by 16 percent, followed by African-American students (11.3 percent), white students (1.2 percent) and Asian-American students (0.7 percent) compared with fall 2007 outcomes. The increase in admissions offers closely track the increases of each group in the applicant pool. The percent of American Indian students decline slightly (-2.6 percent), or 11 fewer admits than fall 2007. The percentage of students who declined to state their ethnicity increased 12.3 percent from the previous year.
Underrepresented students — African Americans, American Indians and Chicano/Latinos make up 25.1 percent of UC admits, up from 22.9 percent for fall 2007. All campuses registered gains in the proportion of underrepresented students in their admitted class.
Universitywide, UC continues to excel at offering opportunity and access to students from families that have traditionally not enjoyed the benefits of higher education. Just over 39 percent of freshman admits come from families where neither parent has a four-year degree, 36.8 percent come from low-income families, and 1 out of 5 admitted students is enrolled in a high school that is in the lower 40 percent of California high schools, as ranked by the Academic Performance Index (API) score.
Note: The admissions outcomes are preliminary and focus entirely on admission of freshman applicants. Transfer admissions data will be available mid-May. These data reflect admission as of March 31, 2008, and except as noted, are for California resident students only.
Some campuses will continue to admit small numbers of applicants.  Unless otherwise noted, the universitywide totals are “unduplicated,” meaning that each student is counted only once. Data provided for individual campuses typically
reflect multiple admissions offers; on average, fall 2008 freshman applicants applied to 3.6 UC campuses. In making year-to-year comparisons, note that the fall 2004 cycle was anomalous because state budget difficulties resulted in a reduction in the number of students UC was able to admit.
For more information and tables about 2008 freshman admissions to UC:
www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/fall2008adm.html 
For individual campus admissions data:
UC Berkeley
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/04/14_admissions08.shtml>
    UC Davis
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=8513
UCLA
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-admissions-data-show-high-48543.aspx
UC San Diego
http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/general/04-08FreshmenAdmissionsData.asp
UC Santa Barbara
http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=1756

 

 

4/14/08 press release: “Campus releases freshman admission data,”
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/04/14_admissions08.shtml
By Janet Gilmore
Berkeley – University of California , Berkeley, officials today announced that they have offered admission to 12,616 high school students for the 2008-2009 school year, following an exceptionally competitive admissions cycle propelled by a marked increase in applications.
Of those offered admission, 10,388 were admitted to the fall 2008 term that begins in late August and another 2,228 to the spring 2009 semester that starts in January.
More than 48,400 students applied for admission to the fall 2008 class, up almost 10 percent from the approximately 44,100 who applied for admission to the fall 2007 class.
The admissions rate – the number of students offered admission compared to the number who applied – for the fall 2008 term was 21.5 percent, down from 23.2 percent for fall 2007. UC Berkeley offered admission to 175 more students than last year, but because of the increase in applications from all groups including California residents, out-of-state students and international students, the admissions rate dropped.
Analysis of the 2008-09 admissions data reflects the following:
The fall 2008 freshman admitted class remains as strong as that of the previous year’s admitted class. The students have an average total SAT I score of 2034, up from 2029 for fall 2007; their average GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is 3.87, the same as last year.
Percentage-wise, the racial and ethnic diversity of the fall 2008 admitted class is comparable to that of last year’s class.
Additional detailed admissions data is available at:
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/04/14_admits_table.shtml

 

7/7/08 USA Today: “Opposing view: Race is deciding factor; University admissions unfairly pit Asian Americans against one another,”
by Owen Leong
On a summer night in June 2000, four friends and I waited eagerly outside a local high school for 8 a.m. to arrive. It was 1 a.m., yet we were not alone. At least 200 other students had already formed a line behind us. While waiting, I glanced back and noticed the demographics; they were mostly Asian Americans. Not surprisingly, considering that the majority of students attending this high school, located 24 miles east of Los Angeles , are Asian Americans, which also included me and my friends.
What was the purpose? Well, we were all competing for one of the few spots to take chemistry and other accelerated courses during the summer. But most important, we wanted to stand out against other college applicants, especially Asian American students, who had similarly high grade point averages and near-perfect SAT scores. If taking chemistry one semester earlier was going to give us an edge for admission to an elite college, then it was worth the seven-hour wait.
Every year, colleges consider far more applicants than they can accept. Yet in many cases, a disproportionate number of qualified applicants are Asian American, thus making it difficult for colleges to keep an ethnically diverse campus while still trying to admit all qualified students. Hence, many Asian American students, including me, believe that we are unfairly pitted against one another in admissions, not just judged blindly against all.
The competition was not limited to just applying for summer school spots. In my honors and Advance Placement classes, 75% of my classmates were Asian American. With the school continually limiting the number of students in honors and AP courses each year, we had to compete for these coveted spots, often with other Asian American students.
We all believed that taking regular classes would be grounds to deny us admission because another applicant was taking the honors equivalent. So while colleges continue to deny that race is used as a deciding factor, as Asian American students, we know that our ethnic background makes our chances of getting in even harder.
Owen Leong graduated from the University of California-Berkeley in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in art.

 

4/14/2008 press release: “UCLA Violates Proposition 209; Holistic Review Reduces Percentage of Asian American Students Admitted,”
http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-admissions-data-show-high-48543.aspx
By Claudia Luther
UCLA, the most popular campus in the nation, with 55,397 freshman applicants, announced today that it had admitted 12,579 prospective freshmen for fall 2008. Of these students, 18.1 percent, or 2,164, were underrepresented minorities – a 1.5 percentage-point increase over last year.
The number of African American freshmen admitted rose to 440 (3.7 percent), up from 407 (3.5 percent) last year, while the number of Latino/Chicano admitted freshmen increased to 1,682 (14.1 percent), from 1,474 (12.7 percent) in 2007. Native American freshmen numbered 42 (0.4 percent), compared with 45 (0.4 percent) last year.
This is the second consecutive year that UCLA has used a “holistic” process for evaluating applications, in which each application is read and considered in its entirety by two trained readers; in previous years, two readers reviewed student academic records while a third reviewed life challenges and other personal achievements. The UCLA Academic Senate made the change because the faculty believed a more individualized and qualitative assessment of each applicant’s entire application would better achieve the University of California Regents ‘ goal of comprehensive review.  The holistic approach emphasizes students’ achievements in the context of opportunities available to them and how students have taken advantage of those opportunities.
Reflecting an increase in the overall number of applications, the university was able to admit 22.7 percent of all those who applied, compared with 23.6 percent last year. The university expects a class of approximately 4,700 to begin their studies in September.
Academically, UCLA’s admitted freshmen were again very strong. The overall grade-point average was 4.34, compared with 4.29 last year. The average composite score for the SAT reasoning test remained steady at 2,000, out of a possible 2,400. The average math score was 683, the average reading score was 653 and the average writing score was 664 – all approximately what they were last year. Admitted freshmen took an average of 19.9 honors courses and completed nearly 50.9 college preparatory semester courses – far above the minimum of 30 that is required.
Of the admitted students, 4,804, or 40.2 percent, were Asian American, a drop of 2.6 percent from last year. Asian Americans made up 42.8 percent (4,975) of the admitted freshman class in 2007, 45.6 percent (5,390) in 2006, 42.5 percent (4,710) in 2005 and 42 percent (4,049) in 2004.
The percentage of whites/Caucasians was approximately the same as last year: 33.1 percent (3,953), compared with 33.2 percent (3,860) in 2007. That compares with 32.1 percent (3,791) for 2006, 33.6 percent (3,723) for 2005 and 33.5 percent (3,230) for 2004.
In other categories, admissions data show that 7.4 percent (885) of admitted applicants declined to state their race or ethnicity and that 1.2 percent (138) identified themselves as “other.”
Information about admitted California freshmen at University of California campuses is available at http://www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/fall2008adm.html. More than 60,000 high school seniors were offered admission at UC campuses.
UCLA is California ‘s largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university’s 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer more than 300 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Four alumni and five faculty members have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
NOTE: Fall 2008 figures are extracted from March 31 files and do not reflect final figures. The data used reflect information about domestic students, except for the total numbers of applicants and admits, which include international students. This year’s figures are compared with official data from 2007. Admissions numbers will change slightly, with final official data available in October 2008. Data provided by the University of California Office of the President are for California residents only.

 

1/22/09 Daily Pennslyvanian: “Early admit rate rises to 32 percent this year,”
Penn’s early decision acceptance rate increased this year to 32
percent, up from last year’s all-time low of 28 percent.
The higher acceptance rate is a result of the fact that fewer students
applied early, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said.
This year, Penn received 3,666 early decision applications, compared
to last year’s 3,912. The University accepted 1,156 this past December.
Those students will compose about 47 percent of the class of 2013.
Average SAT critical reading scores improved 4 points to 700, math
scores improved 8 points to 729 and writing scores improved 5 points
to 717. Furda added that average GPA also increased.
The members of the class of 2013 represent many different ethnicities.
Penn admitted 64 black students, 265 Asian American students, 71
Latino students and three Native American students.
4/2/08 The Daily Pennsylvanian: “Admit rate increases to 16.4 percent- Penn only Ivy thus far to not set a record-low acceptance rate, admits 3,769 students,”
By Naomi Jagoda
In contrast to the other Ivy League schools, Penn’s overall acceptance rate increased to 16.4 percent for the class of 2012.  Penn is the only Ivy League school thus far that has not reported a record-low acceptance rate.
This admissions cycle, Penn admitted a total of 3,769 of 22,922 applications. Last year, 22,646 students applied and 3,628 were accepted – a rate of 16 percent.
Average SAT scores increased this year from 2137 to 2153 out of a possible 2400.
More minority students were accepted this year.  The number of black students admitted went up from 422 to 432, the number of Latino students accepted increased from 311 to 355 and the number of Asian-American applicants accepted increased from 769 to 851. There was a decrease in the number of Native-American students admitted, down from 20 last year to 15 this year.

 

4/8/08 Austin American-Statesman: “UT sued for considering race in admissions Rejected student, who is white, contends university discriminated,”
By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz
The University of Texas is violating the Constitution and civil rights laws by considering race and ethnicity in deciding whether to admit undergraduates, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday by a white student whose application was rejected.
The plaintiff, Abigail Noel Fisher, 18, lives in Richmond , southwest of Houston , and attends Stephen F. Austin High School in nearby Sugar Land . Despite ranking in the top 12 percent of her class, scoring 1180 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT, and playing the cello, she was rejected last month by UT, says the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Austin .
UT and other public universities in Texas are required by state law to accept any student from Texas who ranks in the top 10 percent of his or her high school.
UT considers race and ethnicity, among other factors, in deciding whether to admit other students as part of its effort to boost enrollment of Hispanics and blacks.
“But for her race and ethnicity, it is our belief she would have been admitted to the University of Texas ,” said Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, a legal-defense group that fights the use of race and ethnicity in public policy.
The group, based in Washington , is underwriting part of the litigation costs, and Fisher’s lawyer, Bert Rein, is contributing some of his services for free, Blum said.
The lawsuit contends that UT has run afoul of a 2003 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving the University of Michigan that said race and ethnicity could be considered under certain circumstances. Fisher’s suit argues that affirmative action is allowed only after race-neutral approaches are found inadequate.
Patti Ohlendorf, UT’s vice president for legal affairs, said the school’s admissions policies comply with Supreme Court precedent and applicable laws.
“Each year, we are very fortunate to receive applications from thousands of very able high school seniors. But as with many universities around the country, we are limited in the number of applicants we can admit,” she said.
This isn’t the first time UT’s admissions policies have been challenged in court. A 1996 federal court ruling involving UT effectively banned affirmative action at public colleges and universities in Texas .  That prompted state lawmakers to enact the top 10 percent law in 1997.
After the Supreme Court’s Michigan ruling, UT resumed considering race and ethnicity in admissions. UT officials contend that the top 10 percent law hasn’t done enough to boost minority enrollment and have asked lawmakers to scale it back, saying that would allow them to enroll more minority students.
Fisher’s lawsuit asks the court to end UT’s consideration of race and to order that she be admitted if she qualifies under race-neutral factors.
Blum, a 1973 graduate of UT and a part-time Austin resident, said hundreds of other students have been unfairly rejected, and he urged them to join the case.

 

1/30/09  The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia): “Celebrate all minorities,”
Letter to Editor from Amy Chen
Monday’s article reporting a large increase in the ethnic diversity of
applicants for the Class of 2013 was certainly good news. However, I was
disappointed to see that admissions statistics for Asian-American applicants
were omitted from the report. When celebrating the diversity of the University,
it should not be a matter of picking and choosing certain racial groups to
highlight. Asian Americans make up over 11% of the undergraduate student
body, and yet we are, at times, dropped from the University’s consciousness.
Although some may consider it a success for a minority group to reach the
levels of enrollment that Asian Americans have, an unfortunate result of this is
that we have been relegated to a class of invisible minority. With each mark
of success, much more work remains to be done.
I understand the Admissions Office may have chosen to omit the numbers
because of a decrease in Asian-American applicants. Nevertheless, the
numbers should still be reported. If the number of Asian-American applicants
has indeed declined, than this is a serious issue that needs to be brought to
light. While it is heartening to hear that this year’s applicants demonstrate an
increase in ethnic diversity, we must remember to look at the full picture. If
we’re going to celebrate the diversity of ethnic minorities at the University,
why not celebrate all of them?

Amy Chen
Asian Student Union Treasurer
CLAS II

 

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