The Asian plurality at UC

Asian-Americans will be the largest group of students in the new freshmen class at University of California.

Asians account for 36 percent of California residents admitted to study at UC schools, though they make up only 14 percent of seniors projected to graduate from the state’s public high schools.

By comparison, white students comprised 35.6 percent of those accepted; Latinos, 17.6 percent; African-Americans, 3.4 percent; and American Indians, 0.6 percent.

They work harder.

In Los Angeles, 80 percent of Asian-American students graduate from high school compared to 77 percent of whites, 55 percent of blacks and 44 percent of Hispanic students.

About Joanne


  1. The fact that one out of five Asian-American students fails to graduate doesn’t fit the “model minority” steretoype. Who are the Asian-Americans who aren’t graduating? The “AA” label is a broad one that encompasses many different ethnic groups with members at different points on the assimilation scale. Ditto for these other labels. Getting rates for large groupings is a first step; pinpointing which subgroups aren’t making it and why is the next step.

  2. Independent George says:

    Did anybody else notice this bit?

    “UC is a great deal,” she said. Her tuition and housing come to about $20,000 a year — about half the price of Stanford, she said.

    I know that ballooning college costs are hardly a new story, but this is ridiculous.

  3. I also found this compelling:

    Nomanbhoy said she feels more comfortable with so many Asians on campus, but she sometimes perceives some discomfort from non-Asians.

    “I’ve heard some Caucasian people say, `I’m in that class with Asians, so how can I expect to do really well?’ I think that’s just an excuse.”

    Well, this Caucasian never understood that mentality when he was in college, and understands it even less today. I mean, aren’t you pretty much judged against your own performance in most classes? Unless the professor is some sort of dinosaur who grades on a bell curve, a student is generally judged based on his own work rather than that of his classmates. Yes, I understand that group projects = group grades, which means that others’ performance in class will impact me, but I think of that as more than a bit indirect. Overall, who cares if there are a bunch of overachievers in a class?

  4. John from OK says:

    When I attended UCLA and UCSC from 1979-1984, pratically every class was graded on a curve. Do they not do this anymore? In any case, I found that Asians were not tougher competitors, they just attended harder classes.

  5. I can’t speak from any personal experience, but apparently even though pre-med classes (I’m guessing all the science ones?) are graded on curves, they’re still ultra-competitive…I’m guessing because med schools have quotas and all that. Pre-meds can be absolutely cutthroat when it comes to their grades, and there have been cases of students actually trying to sabotage others’ work.

    I told my pre-med friend about a story I heard through the grapevine, about one such case of sabotage (on a test, students had to look through a microscope and identify what an arrow was pointing to on the slide; the students who went first would move the arrow so that it was pointing to something else, making sure that the students who came after them would get the wrong answer). Sadly, she wasn’t surprised.

  6. They work harder.

    Uh-huh. They also cheat like nobody’s business.

  7. Indigo Warrior says:

    They work harder.

    And “they” (Asian-Americans as a group) are taught from a very early age to love their work, their minds, their talents; and not to be ashamed of any of the above. None of this cowardly macho bookburning gangsterism that has infected both White and Black America. (Not recently either; the rot started in 1945 or so.)

  8. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Purely anecdotal…

    A few years ago, I had a class of 28 5th graders. Almost half were ‘Limited English Proficient’–all Latino, all but one born in the U.S. None of these 14 had passed the English transition tests from K-4th grade. In January, I received two new students, both Thai girls who were cousins. They had recently arrived from Thailand. They both were classified at the lowest English proficiency level as newcomers (Level 1) By June of that year, one reclassified at Level 4, and one passed the English transsition test. The parents of both girls requested extra homework for the weekends and thanked me in person for helping them with their English. Not one homework or classwork assignment was missed. The girls were hard-working, friendly, cooperative and grateful to be in school, in my class. On the last day of school, I literally cried when I said goodbye to them. The Latino students in my class were equally sweet and friendly, but the work ethic and desire to assimilate linguistically was missing. How sad that those Thai girls were such a rarity that year, and in the years since then.