A new admissions policy set to take effect at the University of California system in three years is raising fears among Asian-Americans that it will reduce their numbers on campus, where they account for a remarkable 40 percent of all undergraduates.
University officials say the new standards — the biggest change in UC admissions since 1960 — are intended to widen the pool of high school applicants and make the process more fair.
But Asian-American advocates, parents and lawmakers are angrily calling on the university to rescind the policy, which will apply at all nine of the system’s undergraduate campuses.
They point to a UC projection that said the new standards would sharply reduce Asian-American admissions while resulting in little change for blacks and Hispanics, and a big gain for white students.
Asian-Americans are the single largest ethnic group among UC’s 173,000 undergraduates. In 2008, they accounted for 40 percent at UCLA and 43 percent at UC Berkeley — the two most selective campuses in the UC system — as well as 50 percent at UC San Diego and 54 percent at UC Irvine.
Asian-Americans are about 12 percent of California’s population and 4 percent of the U.S. population overall.
The new policy, approved unanimously by the UC Board of Regents in February, will greatly expand the applicant pool, eliminate the requirement that applicants take two SAT subject tests and reduce the number of students guaranteed admission based on grades and test scores alone. It takes effect for the freshman class of fall 2012. Is that what they call it? EXPANDING the applicant pool? More like lowering the standards. Perhaps it’s the recession?
Some Asian-Americans have charged that the university is trying to reduce Asian-American enrollment. Others say that may not be the intent, but it will be the result.
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Jessica Peng, left, and Lauren Sit talk about proposed college admissions guidelines affecting Asian students at Lowell High School in San Francisco, Thursday, April 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Source AP