Stuart Silverstein, L. A. Times, Mar. 9
Even though state law bans preferences for minorities, black and Latino high school seniors who applied to University of California campuses last year were accepted for admission in numbers somewhat higher than appear warranted, UC officials reported Monday.
They said the pattern among blacks and Latinos was most noticeable at UC Berkeley and UCLA, the system’s two most selective campuses, although the numbers were relatively small.
At UC Berkeley, for example, 267 black and Latino students were admitted beyond what officials estimated were warranted. In all, more than 9,300 candidates of all races were offered admission last year.
Officials of the UC system said they had spotted no obvious reason for the apparent admission disparity, but would continue to study what might be behind the pattern. Critics of UC’s admission policy have suggested that the university is making an end-run around the state’s ban on affirmative action by considering applicants’ personal and economic hardships.
Officials discovered the disparities in research prepared for a UC study group investigating the system’s admissions practices.
In a prepared statement, UC President Robert C. Dynes said the racial and ethnic disparities have been “reduced dramatically” since voters approved the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209 in 1996. Still, Dynes said, he remains “concerned” about “a few presently unexplained differences” in admissions rates of applicants of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
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