Significant Increase in Black Applicants to UCLA

This past fall there were only 99 black freshmen who enrolled at the University of California at Los Angeles. They made up just 2 percent of the first-year class.

In an effort to increase diversity in the student body, the UCLA administration has adopted a new admissions model that will follow a so-called “holistic” approach which looks at academic merit in the context of a student’s position in society. Under the new plan, a student of any race who comes from a low-income family and attends high school in an inner-city school district that has a poor record in sending kids on to college might be seen in a more favorable light by admissions officials than a student with slightly higher academic credentials who grew up in an upper-middle-class family and attended high school in a wealthy suburban district.

Officials at UCLA hope to use the new admissions model for the class entering the university in the fall of 2007. The new plan is patterned after the “comprehensive review” admissions model used at the University of California at Berkeley.

The announcement of the new admissions plan appears to have produced positive results. UCLA announced that it received 2,444 applications from black students this year. This was up 12.5 percent from a year ago. Blacks are 5 percent of the applicant pool at UCLA this year.