Regents of the University of California Recommend That All Campuses Adopt a Holistic Admissions System

The regents of the University of California system are urging, but not requiring, all nine undergraduate campuses to use a holistic approach to admissions. Under the holistic method, admissions officers consider an applicant’s grades, test scores, and other qualifications with consideration to the student’s background and life experiences.

Critics of the plan state that the holistic approach is a means to get around the state ban on the consideration of race during the admissions process. But the university maintains that a holistic system does not benefit students of any one particular race.

The holistic method has been used at the Berkeley campus since 2001 and UCLA adopted a similar approach in 2007. In neither instance did the institution of the holistic approach produce a sharp rise in the number of blacks accepted for admission.