NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Minorities Apply At University Of California

January 29, 1998

Foes of affirmative action policies feel vindicated because the number of minorities applying for entrance to the University of California (UC) system has increased -- reversing a two-year decline since the California Board of Regents voted in 1995 to eliminate race, sex and ethnicity as criteria for admission, hiring and the letting of contracts throughout the UC system.

Overall high school seniors' applications to UC for next fall have risen 8 percent over last year -- the largest one year jump in a decade.

  • Mexican-American applications increased by 10.1 percent in 1998 over 1997.
  • Other minorities with increases in applications include American Indians, up 9.3 percent; African-American, 3.1 percent; and Filipino-American, 0.5 percent.
  • Applications from other Hispanics, whites and Asian-Americans declined -- possibly because more of those students declined to state their ethnicity, officials speculated.
  • Students who declined to state their ethnicity rose by more than 200 percent.

"We're somewhat surprised and very, very pleased," commented the chairwoman of the University's Board of Regents. Ward Connerly, the black businessman and regent who led the fight to terminate racial preference programs at UC, called the increase in minority applications "a validation."

Source: William H. Honan, "Minority Applications Rise at California, Easing Fears," New York Times, January 29, 1998.


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