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Fuzzy Math in California Admissions

April 15, 2009

The nine-campus University of California system is reducing the number of freshman admissions because of the financial crisis. But “underrepresented groups”—non-Asian-American minorities—shouldn’t worry at all. Apparently all the cuts will come from white and Asian-American applicants. Down in the ninth paragraph of a 13-paragraph Associated Press story in the San Jose Mercury News, we learn this: “Admission offers to California residents increased 2 percent for African-Americans, 4 percent for Latinos and 21 percent for American Indians. Offers remained relatively unchanged for Asian-Americans and declined 6 percent for whites.”

In raw numbers, compared with fall of 2008, admission offers for this fall are +59 for Latinos, +71 for American Indians, +73 for Pacific Islanders, +290 for African-Americans – 241 for Asian-Americans and -1236 for whites. The category of “other” is – 220, and those who “declined to state” race or ethnicity, believed to be mostly whites who don’t want to play the racial game, is – 861. How can the system get away with these selective racial and ethnic cuts? Doesn’t California’s Proposition 209 make affirmative action in public college admissions illegal? Good questions.

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