January 13th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Campus diversity would suffer without affirmative action, study says

A study published this month in the Journal of Labor Economics estimates that a nationwide ban on affirmative action in college admissions would cause black and Hispanic enrollment at the nation’s most selective colleges to drop by more than 10 percent.

The research also predicted a 2 percent decline in minority representation at all four-year institutions. The decrease would be chiefly the result of colleges changing their admissions decisions — rather than reductions in the number of minority applications — concluded Jessica Howell, the author of the paper and a professor at California State University.

The study follows findings released last October by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, which found that Asian students were more likely to be rejected than similar students of other races, while athletes, students from top high schools and low income minority applicants all had an admissions edge.

  • yalie

    Well, big surprise.

  • update

    Well, don’t read too much into it. I bet a lot of things have changed. The study was based on grads from high school in 1992. That means the class of 1996 in college, a full full 18 years ago. Yale had an admissions rate well over 30% back then. The change could be even more now.

  • and I’m liberal…

    A drop in minority enrollment would exceed the drop in admission rates. If you take away affirmative action, no qualified minority is going to want to come to a college where they know there are so few others like them…

    Still, before the comment wars begin, I’ll make the obvious point that we should act affirmatively toward socioeconomically disadvantaged kids, not racial minorities. A black kid from a prep school whose parents are surgeons has had far more opportunities than I, coming from an inner city public high school.

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