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.