University Of California Admissions Statistics

Whenever racial preferences are debated, supporters of preference always decry what they claim was the devastating impact of colorblind racial equality on offers of admission to the University of California. In almost every instance those claims were — and when we hear them in the future in Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, or wherever, will be — false.

Here is a table, broken down by race and ethnicity, of the admission of California residents to the University of California from 1997 through 2007. (HatTip to Ed Chin) It shows that in 1997, the last freshman class admitted before the elimination of racial preferences by Prop. 209 in 1996, 18.6% of the admitted freshmen were “underrepresented minorities.” 3.8% of the admitted freshmen were black.

In the freshman class of 2007, “underrepresented minorities” made up 22.9% of those offered admission, and 3.6% were black.

During that same decade the proportion of whites in the freshman classes declined from 40.8% in 1997 to 35.5% in 2007.

Say What? (18)

  1. superdestroyer June 13, 2007 at 11:13 am | | Reply

    I wonder how many formally white applicants are now smart enough to put Hispanic on their application. I also noticed that the number of “decline to state” has also gone down.

  2. Aristotle June 13, 2007 at 11:25 am | | Reply

    I don’t understand why this is. Affirmative action is supposed to artificially buoy the number of minorities admitted; why, then, when the policy was dropped, would there be only a small decrease in the number of minority freshmen? Were they using affirmative action at all? Did they comply fully with Proposition 209? It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t seem likely that there was a sudden surge in black applicants right after 209 was passed.

  3. Mark Seecof June 13, 2007 at 2:07 pm | | Reply

    As you have remarked before, affirmative-action partisans often claim that statistical variance between between the racial composition of the (actual, or sometimes just potential) college applicant pool and the admittee pool proves invidious discrimination and justifies corrective race-based preferences.

    Would those same people agree that a lack of statistical variance between the racial composition of the UC admittee pool before Prop. 209 (when UC admissions were openly racist) and after proves that UC is still applying (now even more clearly unlawful) racial preferences?

  4. Dom June 13, 2007 at 9:04 pm | | Reply

    The number (and percent) of the Asian students also increased, as always happens in situations like this, showing once again that Asians are paying a large price for Affirmative Action.

    What I found amazing, however, is the fact that the number of Hispanics also increased (from 5K to 10k!). This (possibly) supoorts what I always thought, that AA is changing the nature of education. Hispanics are *choosing* not to attend Universities, because education has been Mickey Mousified. Who, after all, wants to attend a school that continually tells you that you need a professor who looks like you, that you, and you alone, are incapable of learning your adopted language, or that you need special courses to keep you in school, so the white person sitting next to you can absorb your “diversity”?

  5. leo cruz June 13, 2007 at 9:51 pm | | Reply

    John,

    I saw that data too incuding the doubling of black freshman at UCLA. In public and and private universitites, they are hell bent on increasing all kinds of preferences be it racial, alumni legacy, faculty brat etc. Take for example Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa, the son of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who is going to enroll at Princeton this fall. Being the son of Mayor Villaraigosa and the desire of Princeton to fulfill its HIspanic qouta

    surely effected this outcome. Even the private high school where he graduated from , a Jesuit school called Loyola High near the corner of Normanide/ Venice admitted him for the same reason and for being the son of then Councilman Villaraigosa. That is how the white children of Justices Breyer, O’ Connor and Kennnedy were admitted to Stanford – to kowtow to alumni legacy and to the children of the well known and the mighty.

  6. leo cruz June 14, 2007 at 3:46 am | | Reply

    John,

    The table that Ed Chin gave you for 2007 is only for admitted students, the actual representation of whites in the 2007 freshman class actually fell to less than 32% for the entire UC system. One reason for that is whites

    have a lower yield rate han Asians toa UC admissions offer. I reread your

    posting about Jeffrey Rosen with regards to the situation in Texas. Words are of little use in saying that the same situation exists in California . The opposition by the left here to Prop. 209 is just tremendous. The coalition of public and private universities, religious groups, black and Latino organizations, feminist groups etc.to gut Prop. 209 in its present form is still being carried out here with fierce determination. Every kind of rationale is being handed out by these groups to justify the repeal of Prop. 209 . Robert Laird the former admissions director at Berkeley and an ardent race preferentialist has even claimed that HIspanics will eventually form a majority in California and will force the repeal of Prop. 209.

  7. John Rosenberg June 14, 2007 at 8:46 am | | Reply

    Leo – Good points all. You are absolutely right that the numbers in the linked UC data are for admitted students, not the actual numbers of freshmen who decided to enroll. In my defense note that in my post I did refer to “the admission of California residents,” but I should have made even clearer that the numbers referred to admission offers, not enrolled students. In the same vein, I could have emphasized that the numbers only covered admissions offers to California residents, not all admissions offers. Anyway, I do appreciate your vigilance, and your often-offered data, on these issues.

  8. Ed June 14, 2007 at 10:17 am | | Reply

    Leo (bkn),

    Thanks for your excellent points, as usual. Nice to hear from you again.

    Keep up the good fight against race preferences and related issues.

  9. James E. June 14, 2007 at 1:19 pm | | Reply

    Leo,

    Mayor Villaraigosa’s most trusted and senior cronies, Jose Huizar, is on the board of trustees of Princeton. That may have had something to do with it, too.

  10. revisionist June 15, 2007 at 9:25 am | | Reply

    The UC still employs racial preferences despite Prop. 209 through “Comprehensive Review” of applications. Applicants get points for things like

    1. Parents speaking a language other than English at home.

    2. Participating in high-school outreach programs, such as “Puente.” The trick is that programs like Puente are only offered at majority-Latino high schools. I have heard that being in just two outreach programs yields as many points in an internal scoring system as getting perfect SATs and GPAs.

    3. Special attention is paid to SAT II scores. Some Latino students who are native Spanish speakers take the Spanish Language SAT II, and get 800′s. (This particular SAT II was originally designed for native English speakers.)

    4. At UC San Diego, for example, additional points are given for low family income. (I’m sure that UCSD also accepts very high income students in the perpetual quest for donors.)

    1-4 are clearly proxies for Latino students, and in fact have worked against some Black students in the past. Thus UCLA recently introduced a new “Holistic” applications process to give further racial preferences to increase their very low Black enrollment.

    What is most striking is the figure of 32% for

    the percent of white students in the 2007 class.

    As whites dissapear from the scene, how will the excuse of “White Privilege” for all social and educational problems still be credible?

  11. FreeMan June 15, 2007 at 2:42 pm | | Reply

    Dear Revisionist – what you need to understand is that in California – White European-Americans are the MINORITY – So the ? is how can White European-American Males in California maintain their dominance despite their Minority Status? Answer eliminate Affirmative Action for Women & People of Color

  12. Chauncey June 16, 2007 at 5:05 am | | Reply

    these stats are fine, but you’re kinda missing the point if you think they negate the basic argument of AA supporters. the basic idea behind AA is to get more minorities into our nation’s elite schools because those schools provide the best employment and political (yes, political) opportunities to their grads. they also provide students a better education than non-prestigious schools. the racial composition of these elite schools’ student bodies ought, therefore, roughly approximate the racial demographics of their home states. AA proponents are rightly trying to avoid an “educational caste” where whites (and asians) go to the elite schools (and thus get all the best opportunities) and minorities go somewhere else. this is why you don’t ever see “Long Beach State University v. [aggrieved white plaintiff].” rather, most if not all of the federal cases and virtually all the supreme court cases dealing with affirmative action in schools involve elite universities (UC Davis Med, UTexas, Umich). obviously your stats aren’t probative on this point. the relevant stats would be minority admit rates at the university of california’s elite schools — namely, UC berkeley and UCLA — from 1995 or so to today. minority admit rates at those schools, obviously, have declined substantially post-209.

    there was a whole discussion in grutter v bollinger about this, so i don’t think it’s necessary to rehash it here. you should read it.

  13. John Rosenberg June 16, 2007 at 9:19 am | | Reply

    the basic idea behind AA is to get more minorities into our nation’s elite schools because those schools provide the best employment and political (yes, political) opportunities to their grads.

    That’s interesting, and you’re probably right about “the basic idea,” but those pushing AA have been denying this pretty much since Bakke, after which “the basic idea” became the necessity of admitting enough minorities to provide “diversity” to the majority.

    they also provide students a better education than non-prestigious schools. the racial composition of these elite schools’ student bodies ought, therefore, roughly approximate the racial demographics of their home states.

    They “ought” to do that only if the particular talents sought by the elite schools were distributed evenly among all demographic groups. Those elite schools could become much more demographically representative overnight if they wanted to; all they would have to do is stop being “elite” (which brings to mind Groucho Marx’s quip about not wanting to join any club that would have him as a member).

    AA proponents are rightly trying to avoid an “educational caste” where whites (and asians) go to the elite schools (and thus get all the best opportunities) and minorities go somewhere else. this is why you don’t ever see “Long Beach State University v. [aggrieved white plaintiff].”

    No, you don’t see those lawsuits because the less selective, non-“elite” schools do not resort to racially preferential treatment in their admissions policies. You tend to see far fewer discrimination complaints, that is, against institutions that don’t discriminate.

    there was a whole discussion in grutter v bollinger about this, so i don’t think it’s necessary to rehash it here. you should read it.

    This is rather snide. Do you really think I haven’t read the discussion surrounding Grutter? Actually, in my small way I’ve contributed to that discussion on this blog. You should read it.

  14. Nels Nelson June 18, 2007 at 1:23 am | | Reply

    Isn’t it necessary to have demographics data for high school graduates in those two years? My understanding is that the percentage of Californian school-age children who are Latino or Asian has skyrocketed in the past couple of decades, while the numbers for whites and blacks have decreased.

  15. leo cruz June 19, 2007 at 2:32 am | | Reply

    Nels,

    The increase in the demographics of Asians and Hispanics is not much of relevance until you start considering academic performance. There are about 4 times as many white public school graduates in California as Asians. Yet Asians make up 42% of the freshman class of the UC system for the incoming 2007 year compared to less than 32 % for whites. The only thing that it clearly points out is that the average academic performanc of Asian high school graduates is better than that of whites. Actually, the absolute number of whites admitted to the UC system freshman class is almost the same as that of Asians. HOwever, the yield rate of Asians is higher than that of whites. That and along with the higher average Asian high school academic performance means there will be more Asians than whites in the freshman class of the UC system.

  16. Mahgum (Emilio) July 23, 2007 at 9:48 pm | | Reply

    Hi, I would like the race statistics for UCIRVINE for the 2006-2007 school year and for UCLA!

  17. Where to Apply August 10, 2007 at 4:43 pm | | Reply

    I have personally dealt with the effects of affirmative action, though, it was when I was much much younger. I don’t agree with giving anybody preference over another because of race. They should look at social background and give the white kid with poor white trash parents preference over Obama’s children the same way they should give a black bronx crack baby preference over a rich white WASP, ceteris paribus.

  18. kerflasko May 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm | | Reply

    What many do not realize is that affirmative action was used by more poor white women than any other category.

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