Study: Race-Neutral College Admissions Can Lead to Diversty

The report presents evidence from states whose public universities have succeeded without affirmative action practices.

Posted: 10/04/2012 02:57 PM EDT

A new study could serve as further evidence for affirmative action critics who believe the practice shouldn't be used in college admissions. The report, by class-based affirmative action supporter Richard Kahlenberg, presents evidence from several states who don't use race-based affirmative action in their admissions process and manage to still create a diverse student body in its public universities.

 

While some institutions, like ones in California, are struggling to bring in a better representation of their states' diversity without affirmative action (it's illegal in the state), Kahlenberg reports that it's possible to see eventual success when replaced with other measures. The Huffington Post notes:

 

"But in most places, the report argues, a combination of measures – aggressive outreach, de-emphasizing of standardized tests, affirmative action based on class instead of race, and even getting rid of legacy preferences that mostly benefit whites – has allowed minority representation on their campuses to recover to previous levels. 

 

At the University of Washington, for instance, black and Latino enrollment fell after the use of race was banned but has since surpassed previous levels. At the University of Florida, Hispanic enrollment is higher and black enrollment is comparable to before race was banned (though the report's figures show black enrollment has fallen lately from nearly 15 percent to below 10 percent).

 

In Texas, diversity numbers plummeted during a period in the late 1990s when the university wasn't using affirmative action. The state implemented a "Top 10 percent" plan granting automatic admission to top high school students based on class rank, and its enrollment of underrepresented minorities has risen overall."

 

Read the full story here.

 

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