Phi Beta Cons

UCLA Under the Microscope

The LA Times gets an exclusive look at UCLA’s “holistic” admissions process:

The change was made after figures, released last summer, showed that only about 100 African American students, or about 2% of the freshman class, would enroll at UCLA for the current academic year. The number, the lowest in more than 30 years, prompted UCLA leaders to declare an admissions crisis and push for the new system. But under Proposition 209, the state’s 1996 voter-approved ban on affirmative action, the university cannot consider race in its admissions decisions.
In a relatively rare window into University of California admissions, a process that students, parents and even some UC leaders have called opaque and confusing, UCLA granted a reporter permission to sit in on two training sessions for admissions readers in December. …
“We’re looking for all kinds of students at UCLA,” Pimentel said. “We really want students who are likely to contribute to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus.”
What about diversity, a reader asked?
Pimentel answered without hesitation. UCLA, like other top schools, was looking for a range of personal backgrounds and experiences in each freshman class, she said. Socioeconomic diversity was a plus. But, she cautioned, race could not be part of the equation.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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