UC ‘diversity’ means more whites, fewer Asians

University of California’s new admissions policy will increase the number of whites, reduce Asian enrollment and give a very small boost to Hispanics and blacks. The university no longer will require applicants to take three SAT II subject tests. From the San Jose Mercury News:

“It’s affirmative action for whites,” said UC-Berkeley professor Ling-chi Wang.

. . . Under the new policy, according to UC’s own estimate, the proportion of Asian admissions would drop as much as 7 percent, while admissions of whites could rise by up to 10 percent.

California’s Asian-American students are much more likely to take college-prep classes, earn high grades, do well on subject-matter and math tests and apply to public universities.  However, they don’t do quite as well as whites on the SAT I “reasoning” test, which relies on verbal skills, because so many speak English as a second language.

Asian-Americans make up 37 percent of UC students, though they’re only 12 percent of California’s population. At UC-Berkeley, 46 percent of the freshman class is Asian. Giving preferences to students from low-income families qualifies more Asian-Americans for UC.

The only policy change that’s boosted admit numbers for Hispanic and black students is relying more heavily on class rank:  Students with good grades at heavily minority high schools may qualify for UC despite weak test scores.

About Joanne


  1. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

    Admissions should be based on objective, standard metrics–e.g., SAT scores. High school grades, class rank, and the like, should be considered. Race should not. Students have control over the first several items I mentioned, but not the last.

  2. Subsidized goods are over-consumed. The subsidization of schooling at all levels promotes over-consumption relative to other forms of education, such as on the job training and independent study. Budget constraints then compel rationing by the subsidized organizations. In State-operated universities, this rationing takes the form of admission criteria. Standardized test scores may be “objective” in some sense, but the choice of which standardized tests, or of which other “objective” meassures to use as admissions criteria, is not “objective”.

    Isn’t it odd that many people consider highly selective universities to be “good” schools. Is a hospital which treats only those patients with the best chance of recovery a “good” hospital?

  3. I wonder if the admission’s policies address the problems of those not racially pure?

    For instance, if the product of the union between a person of color and a person of color, a different color, demands admission what’s the prescribed policy? Is their admission score pro-rated depending on racial admixture or does the university use the “one drop” standard or is there some other determination that results in an agreeable degree of head-nodding among those transfixed by race and dedicated to the achievement of perfect justice in admission’s policy?

  4. There just aren’t enough spots in the U.C. system for all of the kids that have the smarts to succeed in a top tier school. High school seems to have turned into a competition of who can get by on the least amount of sleep, take more A.P. classes than they could possibly have time for, and even take classes in summer school so that they can make sure to get an A when they take the class for credit. Our kids shouldn’t have to do that to secure a spot in a U.C. school.They should be able to work hard and enjoy high school – not burn themselves out before they even get to college.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    There just aren’t enough spots in the U.C. system for all of the kids that have the smarts to succeed in a top tier school.

    And yet … “In 2006, the most recent year for which there is complete data, 30 percent of freshmen entering the University of California system required remedial classes in math or reading. Sixty percent of California State University and 90 percent of community college students took remedial classes.”

    From http://www.asiamediainc.com/site/c.enJNKQNlFiG/b.4424623/k.5640/COLUMN_Remedies_tackle_California8217s_remedial_education_program.htm

    I don’t know the source for the number cited, but the CalState number agrees with other claims I have read over the years for CalState.

    How can we both (a) Not have enough spots for the kids who can get into a top tier school, and (b) Have to offer remediation to 30% of them?

    -Mark Roulo

  6. That is interesting – I suspect there are big differences between the different majors.
    But there are so many kids in my neighborhood that have so much stress and feel like they have to take 5 A.P. classes their senior year to make sure they get into a U.C. school. They begin taking A.P. classes in their sophomore year.
    Why do they need a full year of college credit to get into college?
    Or maybe they don’t and someone has them all brainwashed.

  7. The Community College figure is a tich skewed, as sometimes, the remedial class is the only one the student can get into. Many of the CCs are over subscribed, and if you get good grades one semester, you get preference in the next semester’s sign up. So, if you can’t get the real class you want, take the gut or dumb class, get an A, and then get 1st dibs. It’s screwed up.

    But 30% remedial classes at the UCs is insane.

  8. Independent George says:

    Or maybe they don’t and someone has them all brainwashed

    Or, maybe, just maybe, pushing yourself to do the very best you can is a good thing. Perhaps rewards should follow effort and accomplishment instead of entitlement.

    Then again, I’m Asian, so perhaps you think I’ve just been brainwashed into believing this?

  9. 30% remedial classes is what you get when “diversity” and other mandates must be met without regard to such trivia as ability.  Not admitting these people, or bouncing them down to a less-rigorous school, is considered intolerable; far better to let them in publicly and then flunk them out quietly.

    Political radicalization requires alienation.  If the minorities actually fit in with the rest of the student body instead of feeling themselves freakishly misplaced, where would the radicals of tomorrow come from?  If the oppressive Western Civilization is to be overthrown, it won’t be done by the contented!

  10. Fred Drinkwater says:

    Remediation is hardly a new story at UC. When I was a freshman at UCB in ’74 I was told that almost 50% of the incoming freshman class had to take English-P (prep) before they could take English-1A. And this was BEFORE the massive upswing in non-native / ESL students that started to become really significant a year or two later.

  11. My brainwashing comment was directed at kids thinking they had to take more classes than is really physically possible to get into a good college. Maybe they only have to take ones in the areas where their interests actually lie. The course book at our local high school actually lists the amount of hours of homework are required for each course yet kids still sign up for so much that they only have 4 hours left for sleep. I don’t think this has anything to do with pushing yourself to do the best that you can. It has to do with being overly competitive.

  12. If I remember correctly, Dick Atkinson insisted that the SAT II (subject tests) be given more weight as a way of rewarding achievement rather than just smarts. Being the psychologists that he is, he somehow missed out on the fact that the SATI,even or particularly with the analogies he helped remove, is more likely to eliminate the rich kid rich school vs poor kid poor school difference in ability to succeed.

    UC should go to a system of picking the best students that apply. No one is helped by a system that brings people in who really will struggle in any serious course of study at one of the top university sytems.

  13. Therese,

    Do you mean all UC campuses or just Berkeley?

  14. All SAT changes are designed to increase URMs.

    Using Joanne’s logic, African Americans must be almost exclusively ESL students, since their verbal scores are significantly lower than Asians.

    There’s no evidence that Asian verbal scores are lower because they speak English as a second language.

  15. Independent George says:

    Maybe they only have to take ones in the areas where their interests actually lie.

    Why limit yourself only to things you’re currently interested in? Ages 16-17 is the time to broaden your academic horizons as wide as possible, then gradually narrowing as you get older.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with pushing yourself to do the best that you can. It has to do with being overly competitive.

    Competitive? Heck yeah. Competition is a good thing. That’s not an Asian value, it’s an American value – or, at least, it used to be. I can’t help but notice that the people most interested in stopping the race are most often the ones who are already in the front. If you want to stop running, go ahead – just don’t try to slow the rest of us down and say it’s for our own good.

    Asian-Americans – particularly first-generation Asian-Americans – don’t have extended social networks to fall back on. Our parents didn’t pledge the same frat as your parents; we can’t make a phone call to get that job interview with your brother-in-law. We can only work our asses off – and now it seems like now you’re trying to take even that away from us.

  16. Therese says:

    FYI – my parents didn’t go to college, I had no connections, and I worked my ass off in high school and college.I was quite competive if you ask any of my friends. My horizons were quite broad taking a full academic load in one of the top high schools in the country. I also had time for a job, after school activities, and great friends in high school. What I object to is the level that the competition has grown to – it seems overwhelming and I’m not sure if the end result is better students or burnt out, stressed out kids who need a year off before they can start college. I was fresh and ready to go when I got to college – not already overwhelmed.