by Daniel Bennett
Inside Higher Ed reports this morning that Californians are up in arms about a Board of Regents proposal that would change the admissions policy at the University of California system. Currently, applicants must submit scores to two SAT subject tests to be guaranteed a full admission review. The new proposal would waive that requirement as well as reduce the guaranteed admission pool by scaling back the requirement from the top 12.5% to the top 9% of high school graduates.
The idea is that this will make a broader group of high school graduates eligible for admission review and help to expand access to disadvantaged students at the competitive UC system. The rough projections suggest that this change in policy will shift in favor of white student admissions, with slight improvements in the percent of black and Latino admissions, but a reduction in the percentage of Asian admissions. This has caused quite a stir among minority groups, but keep in mind that California has banned affirmative action from admissions procedures.
I'm all for equal opportunity, but not entitlement. The UC system (or any school for that matter) should be focused on recruiting the best students who have the highest chance of succeeding at school and in life, regardless of any demographic or social characteristics. Some will argue that the policy is intended to increase the number of minority students admitted to the selective public schools and were supportive of the change, until they realized that the policy might actually benefit caucasian students (for which it is also possible to be socially disadvantaged) the most. Let's not be hypocritical folks. If Americans truly want to change policy so that it provides more opportunity to those who are disadvantaged economically, then it must apply equally down the line and be race and ethnicity neutral.