Should race be a factor in college admissions?
Gov. Jerry Brown supports the effort to overturn California's Proposition 209, which bans race as a factor in college admissions.
February 16th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Should race be a factor in college admissions?

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) It’s not a new debate by any stretch, but a renewed effort - and court case - are putting it back in the spotlight.  Some of California’s African-American and Latino students are hoping a federal appeals court will allow public universities to consider race when admitting new students.

Affirmative action in California’s public agencies has been banned for 16 years.

In Proposition 209, voters decided that race shouldn’t be a deciding factor.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Prop 209 in 1997, and the California Supreme Court has upheld it twice.

But the issue is back in front of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court for several reasons.  Civil rights advocates who want the ban overturned point to a pair of cases:  A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed law schools to consider race in admissions, and a 2011 federal appeals court ruling overturned Michigan’s ban on considering race in higher education.  California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, supports the effort to overturn Prop 209; during the last legal battle, the state’s Republican governor, Pete Wilson, supported the ban.

The latest California case was filed on behalf of dozens of African-American and Latino students. Many of them argue that the high schools they attended didn’t adequately prepare them for the admissions standards of California’s university system.  They believe that allowing affirmative action will increase their numbers on state campuses.

But Asian-Americans, another minority, are well represented at some California universities.  At the University of California Berkeley campus, for example, 43% of 2010 undergraduates were Asian, while 33% were white.  At UCLA, the number of Asian-American undergraduates enrolled last fall exceeded the number of non-Hispanic whites by almost 1,500 students.  Those who don’t want race to be a factor in college admissions could argue that if affirmative action is unnecessary for some minority groups, how can the law be changed to legally benefit others?

It’s possible that the U.S. Supreme Court could have the last word on this.  If an appeals court in Michigan says race can be a factor there, but a court in California says it cannot, it may take the nation’s top justices to resolve the dispute.

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Filed under: After High School • Issues • Law school • Policy
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. marcus

    as an educator, have found out over and over the most important force in public education is 'peer' pressure. a school or classroom will typically gravitate to the lowest denominator if its presence is strong.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  2. marcus

    when did education become a right instead of a privilege? I am a firm believer of education and its role of getting our society out of its death spiral it seems to be in.
    historically, there are way too many examples of distorting education to fit current religious or political agendas such as polpot, soviet union and catholic missions in south america.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  3. guest1212

    Admission by race should not be raised as an issue here because it will create a division and separation between ethnic groups at the University campus. For disadvantage economic or social groups, the government should help them by providing the programs that will assist and guide them to gain admission to the Universities. This is to insure that the admitted students will meet the "minimum standards". The admission committee in schools such as Medical School should make a "good faith " effort to recruit and graduate the minorities because these future doctors will certainly communicate and understand better their own people, their community than a white doctor. This is not a preferential treatment but rather it insures that we have an adequate number of doctors serving the needy communities or under served areas. Since each community has different needs and priorities, the graduated student would be, of course competent to enter to US work force.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  4. b_nonstop

    For all the intolerant people that live in there bubbles and belive we all are given the same opportunity that see a young black or mexican male and lock your door call your kids to come to you feel he is a gangster trying to work the system when you see things worng before i even open my mouth its not a feeling a american should feel in there own homeland peolpe are it seems racism now is concealed

    February 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  5. Richard Rivera

    The child, regardless of race, that grows up in a school system that doesn't have the money or resources to adequately prepare them for college admissions should receive an assist in the admissions process. Race isn't the issue here, the quality of the school's education is. Perhaps affirmative action in regards to the amount of funding that schools receive is the key to solving this crisis. Plenty of black and hispanic students come out of good schools and shouldn't get an upperhand because of race, but plenty of students who come out of impoverished schools should.

    February 19, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  6. C.SMITH

    If minorities were given fair treatment from the begining, this talk of affirmative action wouldn't be necessary. These rules and laws have been put into place because specific ethnic groups less than 100yrs ago were told 'no you can't go to this college', 'you can't vote', 'you can't eat here', 'you aren't allowed swim in this clean pool', 'you can't live in this neighborhood'. This isn't about letting a C+ black student in a university over an A- white student, it's about saying hey we have this black woman and this asian male equal across the board academically and letting the black student in because of inbalances that exist on these campuses.

    Personally, being a California resident, I feel you can't have the Dream Act and provide financial benefits to illegals and not have affirmative action for legal qualifying minorities who are being denied schooling based on race or other factors of their lives.
    Black universities exist because white government in the past believed in and wanted separate but equal, segregation, and what not and now non.blacks are saying 'why can't I attend Morehouse, Spellman, Howard'? It's not that they can't, it's more like 'you do see how these places came to be'.

    Though I have already digressed I must add that blacks and latinos shouldn't be singled out or made to seem as they are trying to take advantage of the system. Whites created a system that put people in "their place" ever since this great country was founded, the rules of course have been changed. In South Africa, Chinese people who were considered White during aparthied want to be considered Non White now for government business benefits. Everyone is guilty of using systems to their advantage, change needs to happen period!

    February 18, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tlynn

      How much longer should whites pay for decisions that were made and executed over 100 years ago? When will it end? Is there an exemption date that we can be made aware of?
      Why should our children in this new generation pay for your children? How does that make sense?
      Acceptance should be based on merit, period. Libraries are free, they have books in them that help with research, preparing for exams, scholarships, and how to prepare for college applications. You want help, take your kids to the library, and stop asking for handouts! Why should your child get into college based upon the color of his skin, and not upon his merit? Is that racist? Hmmm..

      February 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • C.SMITH

        This isn't about a black or latino who put minimal effort in their education saying I should get in because I'm a minority, it is about minorities who pulled their weight, got the grades, and excelled not getting into the school of their choice because they are a minority. Acceptance should solely be based on merit, absolutely.For that to happen we need to remove the demographic section completely. We're so wrapped up in how many of who is where that we pass up on students who are equally qualified. Thus Asian american people are choosing to identify as white because they feel they may have a better chance of getting into the school of their choice if they aren't compared to other qualified asians applying.
        Black students options shouldn't be geared only towards predominately black schools because they feel/ fear they may get rejected from a campus who has about 5% blacks.

        February 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  7. rmbrown

    i can see both sides to a degree. my family is white. my parents spent every last penny sending me and 2 siblings to 2 different private from k-8.
    my sister went to an expensive private high school that she chose to fail. she wasted my parents money only to barely graduate.
    my brother and i had to attend a public high school (my sister finished at the one cuz it was senior year). we didn't care that it wasn't private. the one we went to was labeled the "ghetto" school and "poor." yeah the majority didn't have much money oh well. the thing that gets me is the honors classes were basically regular classes for private schools. some didn't know how to do a lot because they weren't taught on the same level and i feel were deprived good educations cuz the standards are low and it was harder to fail. my sister was taught new things. we basically did 4yrs of reviewing similar stuff. its ridiculous how much these students AREN'T taught. they get dumbed down cuz no one raises standards to teach more only basics. some students had to take classes like calculus and advanced physics to actually stand out.
    coming from the same public school hundreds of minorities attended, no one should get special treatment due to race. i messed up my 1st college year on my own at a community college (which i solely pay for). i can't get into the university cuz i messed up. so many minority peers had better high school grades so they attended better schools on scholarships. a lot ended up at the community college since its cheaper but like me they didn't have good enough grades for anything else. nothing wrong with community college and saves you a lot!
    now i'm kind of stuck. coming from a blah school i understand the "not being prepared" issue, but states need to raise standards. some students aren't really prepared especially since "honors" classes only had a fraction of homework due compared to college. BUT the choices are available. if you only do bare minimum like me, don't expect a harvard education just yet

    February 17, 2012 at 6:36 am |
  8. Jake

    Affermative action is reverse racism... Its a double standard on all grounds. Its the opposite of the Jim Crow era, now qualified white people are being turned down because of their skin color

    February 17, 2012 at 4:26 am |
  9. Phil in Oregon

    California is becoming the state where the peoples' will, in the form of ballot propositions, is being repeatedly stepped on. First groups go to all the expense and work of getting ballot measures voted on, then if they disagree, they sue as if the voters don't know what they are doing. What a stupid system. 'We the People' aren't represented in California.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Mary Ann Uribe

      The ballot initiative process in California as in many other states is purportedly the way the people in the state have a way to put issues on the ballot the legislature or the Governor will not address. The courts have historically been used to protect "the minority from the tyranny of the majority". This certainly applies to Propostion 209 where the majority of California voters passed the ballot measure that barred the consideration of race in school admissions.

      The arguments for affirmative action are legendary including bringing more minorities into the main stream to then go back to their own communities to serve them as well as bring more minorities into academia and the professions. Our state is VERY diverse and our universities should reflect that.

      I went to graduate school when affirmative action was in place. My education was enhanced by meeting so many people from different backgrounds, different cultures and with different languages. Going to school with primarily white students would have never given me that experience. live in Oregon so why are you concerned with what is going on in California. Take care of your own state.

      February 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  10. DO

    Pete Hoekstra does not want minorities to be educated

    February 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Near the beginning of the article itself, it states that those complaining about the so-called racial discrimination in the public university system come from high schools which "do not adequately prepare them for the admissions standards of California's university system." I'd like to point out that it's not the high school's job to prepare the students, so much as it is the student's job to prepare themselves. I am an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, and I can safely say that, no matter which high school I came from, I would still be where I am now. It wasn't the high school that got me into Berkeley, but my own effort and motivation, as well as encouragement from my family. I worked very hard to get where I am, and I don't want to have that effort undermined by certain groups of people trying to squeeze themselves in through the back door. On the other hand, I see no reason why any African American or Latino applicant should be denied admission if they have clearly demonstrated a love of learning, a desire for excellence over their peers, and an ability and willingness to put effort into their work.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Lee Liu

      I think you sound very foolish to suggest that the high schools don't have any responsibility to prepare children for the standardized exams. What is the objective of NCLB (no child left behind)? Show some consideration for justice. Some high schools, if not most, pride themselves on how many of their students go on to college. If a school wants the reward than the need to take accountablity as well. Its all or nothing, genius!

      February 17, 2012 at 3:29 am |
      • Anonymous

        I'm not saying that high schools have absolutely absolutely no responsibility, rather that the primary responsibility falls on the student themselves. If someone fails to get into college because their scores aren't high enough, then they shouldn't be whining that their school did a bad job of preparing them without first examining what they did on their own initiative. If you think it's a question of resources or money, then I ask that you look no further than the successful immigrants from China and India, many of whom had their primary education in places with a fraction of the funding of the worst-funded schools in this country. You would be naive not to understand that affirmative action as we see it now is little more than a political blame-game, championed by assemblymen in minority districts trying to get quick and easy votes. In reality, affirmative action does not work, and it only undermines the effort that other people, even deserving minorities, put in order to get where they've gotten.

        February 19, 2012 at 3:43 am |
  12. Han

    There just needs to be more scholarship and grant opportunities for distinguished Black and Latino students who have earned their success. Affirmative action is just going to create a problem when the Latino students stopped working as hard as the Asian kid who came from similar backgrounds.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      You say "There just needs to be more scholarship and grant opportunities for distinguished Black and Latino students who have earned their success." I disagree. There already are plenty of scholarship and grant opportunities available for Black and Latino students. My question is, why advocate increased opportunities aimed at a particular race? Why not just aimed at outstanding students regardless of race? The whole system has been turned upside down with pandering to minorities. So much so that the schools are actually "dumbing down" entrance requirements to let them in. Again, promote scholarship for good students and be color blind in the process.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
      • Lee Liu

        I disagree with you! If you’re oblivious to the fact that there is a great level of injustice in schools across America, by race, than your just not that bright or informed. It is a fact that inner-city schools (dominated by people of color) receive an inferior education, subsequently, hindering them from being accepted into better universities. So is if very imbalanced for people of color (minorities) in education. This is why that imbalance needs to be offset. It is very easy as privileged person to not understand. Maybe if you attended some of the same schools as they do/did, you would be singing a different tune.

        February 17, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  13. elliott hill

    Ok I am on the admission commity at a very selective school. Every student has the same opportunity and only students who qualify get through the initial screening process after which everything is evaluated and considered. The rationale being a diverse student body gives everyone a better education. So a farmers son or daughter from Fargo is just as valuable as a minority from a single family household in Oakland. By the way at this point grade point and test scores dont weigh more than character and service. Not everyone on the commity feels this way they just want it to be fair. And sometimes the process isnt.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  14. Dave

    Can anyone explain without being racist how this is not reverse descrimination? How can any minorty group possibly say it is ok to use race for decision purposes in getting into college? Isn't that what they have cried about for centuries that they were not treated fairly and color or race should not matter but now it is ok? That is so rediculous. This country is doomed when we start allowing BS like this.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Anglin

      In response this statement:
      "Can anyone explain without being racist how this is not reverse descrimination? How can any minorty group possibly say it is ok to use race for decision purposes in getting into college? Isn't that what they have cried about for centuries that they were not treated fairly and color or race should not matter but now it is ok? That is so rediculous. This country is doomed when we start allowing BS like this."

      This article doesn't really draw out in good detail the issue at hand, namely that affirmative action ultimately seeks to promote equal opportunity. Let's say you have two applicants for a job and their credentials are exactly the same, or roughly so, meaning they both went to Harvard Law School graduated with a 4.0 GPA and have excellent references and credentials. If your firm already has a population of 95% white male attorneys, it would be in the best interest of your firm to hire the Hispanic woman. What reasoning, after all, would you have for not hiring her? She is every bit as qualified as the white male, the only difference between them is she is racially/culturally/ethically underrepresented in your firm. Organizations that do not demonstrate diversity in their recruitment and selection run the risk of affecting their potential client relations. Universities, employers, and organizations ARE NOT BEING ASKED TO ACQUIRE BODIES BASED SOLELY ON RACE, THEY HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MATTER! IF SOMEONE IS NOT QUALIFIED - BLACK, WHITE OR PURPLE– YOU DON'T GET IN, PERIOD. So just remember this Dave, if nothing else, the goal of affirmative action is to create an equal representation of the working and social population not to in put unqualified applicants.
      Now I have other issues with affirmative action but that's neither here nor there, at the end of the day the affirmative actions deals with a variety of factors, race seeming to be the only one people think of. Poor whites are just as much benefited by affirmative action as blacks, women, and legal immigrants.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
      • Tlynn

        That is absolutely ridiculous. While I can understand your sociological stance and the gate keeping you are talking about, which does happen. I have to also point out that every race is guilty of this. We like to be surrounded by those who we are most alike, that is a human instinct, so please stop with that nonsense. We are all guilty of that.
        This is simply an issue about whether you would want the most qualified person for the job, or not; regardless about their skin color.
        You cut the quality of the employee when you aren't educating the person who has the best qualifications.. period. In the long run it hurts us as a society because we aren't educating those who earned it and have the knowledge, and are educating those simply because of their race. The argument works both ways.

        February 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  15. bob bob

    Not to mention once they get in, how will they keep up with the course if they have an improper foundation? i see this degrading every profession, they have begun their infestation of the higher levels. Now we will have less skilled doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.. assuming a simplified course plan is to go with the simplified admissions, which only makes sense. i suppose that is what we get for not overpopulating irresponsibly, this is the beginning of the end of america.
    Racism just makes sense, compare the home countries, you will see the truth.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mary Ann Uribe

      Ever heard of tutors. I go to the cafes in Berkeley and there are always tutors working with students from all backgrounds, including white students, who are helping the Cal Berkeley students with classes. It is very common for students to have tutors no matter how wealthy their family may be or the student's ethnic/racial background.

      Students still have to keep up with the work.

      When I was in college classes like science and math were difficutl for me. However, put me in an English, political science, history or debate class and I was at the top of my class. Everyone has those subjects that come easy to them and those that are harder to master.

      Then you wrote: "...infestation of the higher levels. Now we will have less skilled doctors, lawyers, engineers..., etc.. ......., this is the beginning of the end of america. Racism just makes sense,..."

      You talk about minority students like they are a rat infestation as opposed to being people which says more about you than about them.

      American was built by immigrants...a land that invited people from all over the world to its shores. You may want to go back to school and take a history lesson. You obviously have much to learn.

      Besides racism only makes sense to other racists.

      February 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
      • Tlynn

        Maryann, do you read the news? Or just as you told us, you like to debate issues that you have no understand of. Regardless of what you say, whites are being taken over in numbers, and so are blacks as well. Hispanics numbers are growing larger and larger because they are having more children than we are, and unfortunately its because we choose to have less children so we can pay for their healthcare, expenses, and college. Research your information before you take that stance. People are simply saying earn you own way into school, it doesn't matter what color you are.. quit asking for MORE handouts and get over the racism card. It's getting old and people are getting really sick of it.

        February 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  16. bob bob

    and thus starts the 3rd worlders degrading of the first world.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Mary Ann Uribe

      Why would you say "...and thus starts the 3rd worlders degrading of the first world?" These minority students do not come from the 3rd world. They were born in the United States like you. What world do you live in? .

      February 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  17. Milan Moravec

    UC Berkeley (UCB) pulls back access to instate Californians. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau displaces Californians qualified for public Cal. with a $50,600 payment from foreign students. And, foreign student tuition is subsidized in the guise of diversity while instate student tuition/fees are doubled.

    Affordability: Birgeneau doubles instate tuition

    UCB is not increasing enrollment. Birgeneau accepts $50,600 foreign students and displaces qualified instate Californians (When depreciation of assets funded by Californians are in foreign and out of state tuition calculations, out of state and foreign tuition is more than $100,000 + and does NOT subsidize instate tuition). Like Coaches, Chancellors Who Do Not Measure-Up Must Go.

    More recently, Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police deployed violent baton jabs on students protesting Birgeneau’s tuition increases. The sky will not fall when Birgeneau and his $450,000 salary are ousted. Opinions make a difference; email UC Board of Regents

    February 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Mac

      I'm a UC Berkeley alumni and people like you give the more moderate UCB students a bad name. You seem to forget universities have costs to offset, just like businesses do. They HAVE to make money in order to stay in business. I know you are probably going to cry foul about this, but its the reality. Universities can't just give college degrees for free. If you have complaints about tuition increases, go complain to your congress representative so they do something about it.

      By the way, if we spent less money on social programs around California, we might be able to use those funds to lower tuition increases.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
      • Fatty

        Mac, I couldn't agree more about cutting social services. I live in Santa Cruz, where transients from around the country flock to to get fat on the abundance of social services here.

        Down with Social Services for the lazy people and Down with Affirmative Action for lazy people. This article infuriates me and Jerry Brown should be ashamed.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:31 am |
      • Mary Ann Uribe does it make sense to not admit our own residents in our own universities? So you favor educating foreign students over Calfiornia residents because the University can make more money on their tuition?

        Why should Californians pay taxes if their universities wil not admit them to their universities?

        The reason tuition is so high is to pay the high salaries of people like Californians. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau. While the students at Cal were protesting about higher tuition costs, the Board of Regents and Birgeneau were voting to raise their own salaries. You want to pay for Birgeneau cost of living increases? Then take them out of your own salary and hand your pay check to him in person.

        The state of California has needs to serve their own people and taking money out of "social programs" as you suggest but rather raising taxes on the most wealthy in the state, taxing capital gains.

        By the way, there are proposals to have students enter universities and not pay tuition. Instead, the cost for their education would be paid after they graduated.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  18. William

    2012 and people still want affirmative action? this is ridiculous

    February 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  19. Alex

    Going to college is an achievement, not a consolation prize.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Mac

      Thank you! I could not have said it better myself.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  20. Susie Watts

    As a private college counselor who works with students of all races, it is obvious that you have reopened up a can of worms. A decision needs to be made in terms of college admissions and it needs to stick. This situation is confusing to students, educators, and colleges and it isn't going to go away.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  21. DALE

    Of the first and second generation Hispanics less then half of them have a supportive family unit that believes that Education is critical to their well being. So in reality the percentage of Hispanics in California that are prepared for college is a lot less then the actual percentage of their population. If you push for equality in numbers you will overload financially an already broken welfare state.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  22. dudley0415

    Echoes of Affirmative Action?

    QUESTION: When the majority race in America is no longer Caucasian, what will happen to the legislatively-used term, "Women and Minorities?"

    February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  23. Rational

    This is the definition of racism, they are acting as though no white students come from difficult backgrounds and low income famillies. To act as though two races are at such a dissadvantage is complete bull

    February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  24. Josie Behnke

    I say no. Why, I am white, a female (I know I can get certain benefits the males can't but still). If I get turned down because I am white and not black, it's the same thing. Racism is racism it doesn't matter the race it is directed to. Two, blacks are not the only race to be inslaved in history, they are just the most recent....and seem to want more then the others that have (this does include whites, etc.) I shouldn't be accepted into a school if I cannot pass the test or exam to get in to said school. I would go to a community college and then move on to a university. If you really want to get into college there is always a way. Try being out of school for over a decade and then going back....that is just as much of a challenge as a kid from a low-income area.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  25. Silvance

    You either want racial equality or you do not. There is no in between. You can't get positive benefits for being a specific race while making any negative effects illegal.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  26. MKE414

    As an admissions counselor at a university, I struggle with this subject as well. My concern is that if they need to lax the rules to get them into the university/college, what makes them think they will be able to handle the vigorous course work? I think students forget there are other options available such as attending a community/2-yr college that will allow them to get up to the level they need to be education-wise in order to be successful at a more rigorous university.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  27. 123445

    Also – on behalf of ugly people like me – hot people should be forced to know...with us.. It's not my fault I'm ugly.. Bad news for Jessica Alba when the feds tell her she has to be my girlfriend!!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  28. larry5

    Governor Moonbeam feels it's not fair to exclude minorities just because they don't show up for class and don't do their assignments and therefore don't get passing grades. He feels that because they represent a large voting block that something must be done to maintain the hold the Democrats have in California. Governor Moonbeam believes that very direct methods must be used to make sure that liberal stay in power. Things that fly in California would never get off the ground in a normal state. This current idea is just a another brick in the wall.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  29. charlie avila

    It is a problem that only exist in the united states. Free education should not be offered ti illegal immigrants, much less with american tax payers money. Illegal immigrants should return back to their countries, and come back to usa legally. Today's tax payers, are loosing their properties, and can't even afford to support their own sons and daughters in college. Neither I agree with a dream act for illegal students. They should go back to their countries and claim their governments for a dream act. The dream act in the usa should be belong to americans, not illegal immigrants.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  30. Chiara

    Imagine that blacks and latinos wanting affirmative action to really dumb dowm academia. Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee is their chant.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Brandon J

      Furthermore religious schools like BYU will reject white students for ethnic students. My girlfriend scored 4 points less than I on the ACT, had lower grades, and less extracurricular activities. She was let in, and her roommate had scored 8 points less on the ACT, but because she was black she got in and I did not.

      Schools don't want smart people, they want dumb rich people. Education is being ruined by allowing so many people who can't keep up to be allowed to participate, when you dumb things down everyone suffers.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Rob

      So ignorant...I hope you people realize that statistically hispanics have a lower income, and many of them don't have the same opportunities in terms of education in comparison to the rich white folk who send their spoiled brats to private schools and pay for private tutors. Yea, I know not all white people are rich, but there are sure as hell a lot more of them then hispanics. What is this? A trend. A trend that will CONTINUE if more minorities aren't given the opportunity to get a higher education. All I see here is the white supremacists trying supremacists..

      February 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
      • Tlynn

        No the trend is that Hispanics spend more time having multiple births, and children that they can't support then getting jobs and an education. Don't worry though, you'll eventually breed us out. Assimilation of the species, but then again you'd know that if you had ever gone to college.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  31. Veronica

    The american UC public University system of higher education should consider race as a factor. I believe that the California educational public system of higher education should represent the state demographic distribution. It is very difficult for african american and latino students to compete on equal terms with the rest of the population. Poverty, lack of family structure, lack of proper basic education, lack of encouragement to achieve educational goals, etc, are a few factors that contribute to educational inequality.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • durundal

      I understand, but on the flip side, what do you do with all the 'non minorities' who didnt quite make the cut for their own ethnicity but are still above the other minorities in performance? Do you simply tell them 'too bad'? Its a very difficult decision to make without inadvertently injecting racism (or reverse racism) into the state, and mucking up the principle of equality – you and I are equals, but because of the color of your skin the state says that you are special. It is most certainly a hairy topic that can easily degenerate into race-baiting and rewarding mediocrity

      February 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Race card

      What a crock of crap you spew.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jane F Evans

      You live in a rose colored world. Your excuses for these groups is very unfounded. These kids all attend the same schools and are taught by the same teachers, yet they are not intelligent enough to keep up with the work being issued within the classroom. Looking for exculses does not answer what is wrong with these students. They simploy can not or do not want to learn. But now the race card is good enough to be played to get into college. What happened to qualifications . There is enough reverse discrimination going on in this country, the end result is colleges turning out unqualified students who didn't belong in the system in the first place.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Rhonda

      Another thing to consider is that , while yes, many of these students who are minorities struggle because of their enviroment, there are also a (small) subset of minorities who excel in their acedemics or are part of that rich population.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 123445

      So, for two people who were equally qualified, one person would be accepted because they are one race, and the other person would be denied because they are another race? Sounds like racism. I guess you have to get admitted to one of them fancy eastern lib arts colleges to learn about how it is not racist to be racist as long as you are racist in the right way.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • rp

      "Poverty, lack of family structure, lack of proper basic education, lack of encouragement to achieve educational goals, etc, are a few factors that contribute to educational inequality"

      And all of the above is my fault? Give me a break!!!!! If you dont great breast fed at birth, its everyone else's fault right?

      February 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tlynn

      That is ridiculous. So your argument is that we should allow students into college because they have bad parents that could afford them or support them? That we should choose these students to educate over those who's parents cared for their kids, supported them, and sat with them to study and further their education?
      So my child should be punished because I cared about him and he worked hard to earn his grades, but your kid should get in because you chose to he a bad parent and made irresponsible decisions that affected your child education and future?
      Wow.. your right, that's absolutely fair!

      February 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  32. Gaurav

    We(Asians) want reservation in Basketball, Football, Boxing, Track and Field, Wrestling, Ice Hockey. Oh wait a minute, we don't have the physical attributes for some of these sports. But so what, people should get used to two Asian midgets in every basketball team...

    February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  33. A Grey

    I'm white and I studied at a university where white people were a minority. Most of my class was Asian, Indian, and Arab. There was a latino student group though I never had any latinos in my class, and I encountered no more than two African Americans the entire time I was there. Here is why. African Americans just did not apply to that program very frequently. The truth of the matter is, of the African Americans who are responsible, productive citizens, most of them prefer government job, or unionized jobs with benefits to college. This is why majority of mail carriers, bus drivers, and government office workers in my city are African American.

    Additionally, many of the universities in my state have an agreement with the community colleges, that they will admit community college students who maintain a certain GPA and complete the general education breadth. So there is ample opportunity for minorities to be admitted to universities, and in addition to the usual government financial aid programs, there are grant and scholarship programs directed at minorities.

    It's not that these people can't get into college. They are choosing not to apply.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • sandy

      It's hard to believe that in 2012 people are still writing things like this. Are you actually trying to characterize African American students who are currently graduating high school as folks who aspire to only USPS and government jobs? They just don't want to apply – really? They should go to community college first – really?

      The more I read from the uninformed public the scarier the future seems. Some facts: From 1976 to 2009, the percentage of Hispanic students rose from 3 percent to 12 percent, the percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander students rose from 2 percent to 7 percent, and the percentage of Black students rose from 9 percent to 14 percent. During the same period, the percentage of White students fell from 83 percent to 62 percent.

      We want to go to college!

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 3.2 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2010, about 2.2 million (68.1 percent) were enrolled in college in October 2010. The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates was slightly lower than the record high set in October 2009 (70.1
      percent). For 2010 graduates, the college enrollment rate was 74.0 percent for young women and 62.8 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of Asians (84.0 percent) was higher than for recent white (68.6 percent), black
      (61.4 percent), and Hispanic (59.6 percent) graduates.

      We want to go to college.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • Tlynn

        Thank you for proving a point, that there are not more than ever an increasing number or minority students in college. So then shy should we also take into account race as well? I graduated recently from school and I can tell you that there were more women, first off, then men in classes and half of every class was minority.
        If this is the case, then why should this argument even be happening? Is it because people want their kids to get in simply because they are asking for a handout, instead of demanding that their child should earn it? Is it because lower income parents are not being responsible for their kids education and want to blame it on the college's?

        February 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  34. Annelise

    "didn’t adequately prepare them for the admissions standard"

    So, they want colleges and universities to accept them over students who prepared more? 'Oh, woe is me. I don't meet the standards that the university wants, but I should be let in over someone who is better suited than me because I'm a minority.'

    The colleges and universities clearly don't want people who would bring their averages, and in turn their rankings, down. How does that benefit the university and their students?

    February 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • durundal

      I can understand them looking to subsidize minorities and under-privileged (although there is a furth implication in this article that links the two – which i find dubious), however the higher up the food chain you go, the less of a factor that should be. Otherwise we will be setting precendence for not rewarding ability or achievements, but rather the color of someone's skin. I am all for giving the under-privileged a leg up so that they have the same opportunities that many of us enjoy, but not at the expense of our systems ability to function

      February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Rhonda

        I agree. By letting in students (of ANY race, white included) that do not meet the college's requirements that just takes away funding and other resources from the deserving students who worked their butts off to EARN their way into the school

        February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • C.SMITH

      "didn’t adequately prepare them for the admissions standard"

      This doesn't only apply to grades. A student could have gotten a 4.0, took AP classes but didn't do any extracurricular activities. Should that student get denied entry because someone else got a 3.8, played tennis, fed the homeless, and was involved in ASB in school?

      February 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  35. IMO Only

    No, just no. Giving preferential treatment based upon race is archaic. While I won't argue that there are some discriminating elements still remaining in the US, we've come a long way from the days since before MLK. Basing enrollment, jobs, and other things on the person's race is wrong. At some point we need to quit being too afraid of alienating someone, and just come to terms that if they're the best person for the job/enrollment acceptance/scholarship; give it to them. Don't do so just because the government says you have to meet a certain requirement or face fines.

    IMO of course, your mileage may vary.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  36. Chris King (Dublin)

    Race should never be a factor, it is unfair to those that work hard to achieve admission.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  37. gerry c

    California, unlike many other states does have a way for those who do not qualify for the state supported university systems to make it in on a "second chance". California has a huge system of community colleges which have a very low tuition and allow the students to "prove" themselves and transfer all their credits to any university in either of the California system (either the UC group or Calstate group). There is nothing wrong with started your higher education in these schools, getting the non-specific prerequisites out of the way and moving on to the other system to finish your bachelors degree (or higher).

    February 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • A Grey

      And those community colleges actually provide a very high quality education. Better than the universities in my opinion.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  38. common_sensical

    Its a RACE, duuhhhh!!! May the BEST TEAM win!!!;) ey, don't hate; appreciate!

    February 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  39. teresa, ohio

    @BOB: yes, I've been to NUMBERSUSA site for years : ) I love it.

    As for colleges not asking race, believe me, they KNOW who they are letting in or not letting in. Let's not all
    pretend that they dont.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  40. BobRooney

    Awarding in state tuition to illegal aliens is fiscally irresponsible and patently unfair.
    Push your state representative to make a change. Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
    Once you are registered, go to the "action board" to send free faxes to you state representative .
    They are all typed up and ready to go, you just need to click your mouse to send.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • A Grey

      In state tuition is for those who have lived in the state for more than two years, regardless of their nationality or legal status.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
      • ProperVillain

        "regardless of legal status"
        Yes, that is the problem. Someone here illegally should be deported, not let into college because they are a "minority". Ugh, has logic and common sense completely left the building in California? It appears so....

        February 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Kaceek

        Regardless of legal status. Special admissions then for felons.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Tlynn

        Wow that sounds like a great idea.. let's educate the illegal aliens and the criminals. Nevermind that they can't legally secure jobs that require background checks, security checks, or that they can't work in healthcare. It's just a great idea to waste that education on people that can't legally use it, instead of using it on people that can.
        You should run for office, I'm sure you would get liberal backing in CA.

        February 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm |