opinion | Why the SAT may be the best choice

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opinion | Why the SAT may be the best choice

There are many differences between liberal arts colleges and UC in New England in terms of size, admissions goals, the students they attract, etc. But over the past year, we’ve gotten a preview of what a post-standardized-tests UC system might look like, thanks to schools becoming test-optional as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has shown that Bowdoin and Bates There may be some relevance to the lessons of

This past January – with great fanfare – The UC system announced that it had received a record number of applications from Latino and black students on its campuses, leading to a record number of underrepresented minority freshmen in the coming class of 2021-22. “These remarkable numbers are a testament to the hard work and resilience of students and their families across California,” UC Systems President Michael Drake wrote in a statement. “I am particularly excited by the social and economic diversity of those who place at UC Fall, which will be an exciting time on our campuses.”

At first glance, these numbers seem impressive. According to preliminary findings released by UC, the number of black freshmen recruited increased from 3,987 in 2020 to 4,608 in 2021. But these record numbers must be considered in proper context: Applications, in general, reached record highs in 2021. The percentage of black and Latino applicants remained almost exactly the same. In 2019, black students made up 5 percent of students admitted to UC, in 2020, they contributed 5 percent. In 2021 they once again increased by 5 percent. With Latino students, the increase was modest – 34 percent in 2019, 36 percent in 2020 and 37 percent in 2021. If omitting the SAT and ACT had any effect on income inequality, it didn’t show up this year. The percentage of California freshman applicants with a low family income fell from 43.5 percent in 2020 to 41.5 percent in 2021.

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UC admitted a record number of students for this year, but they also rejected more students than ever before. At UCLA, the admissions rate rose from 14.4 percent to 10.8 percent, which should be viewed as a problem for a public university in the country’s second largest city, but certainly not. Instead of thinking of the lack of opportunities for all students in the state to attend UCLA, the school declared victory. “I’m over the moon,” a UCLA official told The Los Angeles Times, referring to the increase in minority students. “Years of hard work … paid off for us, and it’s a good feeling.”

But black enrollment at UCLA increased from 6 percent in 2020 to just 7 percent in 2021. Latino enrollment increased from 23 percent to 26 percent. Asian American enrollment, for what it’s worth, fell from 42 percent to 39 percent. In Berkeley, black enrollment numbers declined slightly, while white enrollment increased. Meanwhile, at UC Merced, one of at least a select UC, Latino enrollment numbers fell from 54 percent to 50 percent of the incoming new class; So was the overall percentage of minority students who entered the new category.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when this news opted to spin, UC chose to talk about what happened at UCLA, and not UC Merced, which, by far, was the most popular in the system. There is a diverse campus. Why? According to The Upshot, the average annual family income for a student at Merced is $59,100. at UCLA? $104,900. Berkeley? $119,900. It’s full game: Elite schools with wealthy students and alumni tend to increase diversity, while schools with more working-class students like Merced, where more than 57 percent of students come from underrepresented minority groups, don’t matter. .

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In elite schools, diversity is meant for rich kids. In his opinion in the University of California v. Regents of Buckeye, In the landmark Supreme Court case regarding affirmative action in college admissions, Justice Lewis Powell wrote about something called the Harvard Plan, which came to define the benefits of diversity. “A farm boy from Idaho can bring something to Harvard College that a Bostonian cannot. Similarly, a black student can usually bring something that a white person cannot.” Powell argues why Merced’s falling diversity rate isn’t discussed and we never hear about minority populations in large state schools accepting most of their applicants. First and foremost, those schools don’t have diversity problems. Second, if you take Powell’s argument to its natural conclusion, the “farm boy of Idaho” or “black student” Boston brahmin is on campus to broaden his point of view and, perhaps, give him some lessons about tolerance. teaches. Maybe it’s a cynical text, but it’s inspired by an even more cynical way of thinking that reduces young people to data points and gets philosophical about what their backgrounds can add to a campus. Is.

#opinion #SAT #choice

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