The new University of California admissions statistics are now out, and UCLA is pleased as punch to announce that the “holistic” system it devised to admit more blacks and Hispanics (and, correspondingly, fewer Asians and whites) actually admitted more blacks and Hispanics and fewer Asians and whites.
The University of California system as a whole released a truck load of data, including the number of admits by ethnicity. Unless I missed it, however, no data was released revealing the ratio of admits to applications by race and ethnicity. That is, from this massive data dump it is still impossible to compare (unless I missed it, in which case someone will quickly set me straight) the percentage of white or Asian applicants who were offered admission to the percentage of black or Hispanic applicants who were offered admission. I wonder why?
Nevertheless, the information contained in this data is sufficient to dispel a number of myths. For example, take a look at this chart showing the freshman admits at each campus of the university system from Fall 1997 (the last class admitted under the racially preferential system barred, in theory, by Prop. 209) through the class just admitted for Fall 2008. It reveals, contrary to what supporters of race preferences argue in each state where they are threatened with extinction by civil rights initiatives, that the number and proportion of “underrepresented minorities” is greater now than it was in 1997 at seven of the nine campuses of the university system (not counting Merced, which did not exist in 1997). At UCLA, along with Berkeley one of the two most selective, the Fall 2008 proportion of “underrepresented minorities” is 19.4%, compared with 21.2% in 1997. At un-holistic Berkeley, the Fall 2008 proportion is 17.7%, compared to 25.2% in 1997.
Now take a look at this chart showing the freshman admits by race and ethnicity for the system as a whole. It may have the most surprising data of all. Again comparing 1997, the last classes admitted under preferential admissions, with Fall 2008, we find the following:
• the proportion of white admits fell from 40.8% to 34.4%
• the proportion of Asian admits rose from 33% to 34%
• the proportion of URM admits rose from 18.6% to 25.1%.
These statistics do raise at least one question they don’t answer: since whites are now 43% of the California population but only 34.4% of the entering freshmen in the University of California system next fall, why are they not categorized as an “underrepresented minority”?