UCLA Study Finds That Comprehensive Review Admissions Systems at the University of California Are Failing to Admit Adequate Numbers of Black Students

The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles recently released a new report examining the admissions procedures at the undergraduate campuses of the University of California. Due to state law, admission to these public universities is conducted on a race-neutral basis. But most campuses have now employed a holistic approach called comprehensive review. This entails looking not only at an applicant’s high school grades and standardized test scores but also at leadership, community service, creativity, and success in overcoming disadvantage.

The Bunche Center report examines the admissions procedures at each campus. The survey found that each campus is committed to considering nontraditional measures of merit. Yet, particularly at the most prestigious campuses in the system, black enrollments remain at a level well below the level that existed prior to the enactment of the affirmative action ban.

The authors of the report conclude that admissions officers at the undergraduate campuses of the University of California are not making adequate efforts to account for the disadvantages faced by blacks and other minority youths. The admissions officers at these institutions, according to the report, continue to rely too heavily on standard measures of academic merit.

The report, entitled Gaming the System: Inflation, Privilege, and the Under-Representation of African-American Students at the University of California, can be downloaded by clicking here.