Who Applies (and Gets In)

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2011

The relatively small numbers of black and Latino students in many elite colleges (and in higher education as a whole) continue to worry many educators. A paper presented here Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that black and Latino students with academic credentials equal to those of white students are slightly more likely than their white counterparts to apply to and enroll at selective colleges.

{snip}

The underlying idea behind the study was to take a closer look at student application choice as one factor in tracking enrollment patterns. As the authors noted, students are not admitted if they don’t apply. Further, some recent research has suggested a problem of “under-matching” in which black and Latino students may fail to apply to the most competitive colleges to which they could be admitted.

But the authors of this new work don’t see that going on. {snip}

{snip}

Then there is the question of who applies to competitive colleges: the NELS data show that 30 percent of Asian American applicants do, compared to 18 percent of white students and 10 percent of black and Latino students.

Those figures are irrespective of various measures of socioeconomic status and academic background. Controlling for several socioeconomic factors, especially whether the student has a parent who went to college, the gaps narrow a bit. But when academic background is controlled for, the authors found that while Asians are more likely to apply to and enroll at selective colleges than are all other groups, black and Latino applicants are slightly more likely to apply to and enroll in selective colleges than are white students.

Many elite colleges face considerable pressure to expand their outreach efforts to attract more minority students, or to consider changes in admissions policies. But Goyette said that the data in the new study show that those efforts–while laudable–may not have a huge impact, given that the central issue appears to be the relatively small number of black and Latino applicants with academic backgrounds comparable to those of white students. “The most effective way” for top colleges to enroll more black and Latino students, she said, is to improve high schools that serve black and Latino students.

The study analyzed academic preparation without regard to the impact of affirmative action on admissions decisions. So to the extent admissions patterns vary by racial and ethnic groups at some institutions, the analysis did not factor that in.

{snip}

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  • El Pedo Gigante

    It’s the RACE, stupid!!! We know most blacks and Mexicans are far below Asians and whites in intelligence (states other than CA can test their black students for IQ). If whites and Asians are inferior to blacks in football and basketball, and have no problem admitting it — then why do blacks and Mexicans get so blown out about the fact that they’re inferior intellectually to whites and Asians? Just tells me that they prefer lies to the truth. Whites and Asians have matured beyond that level, and want the truth. We know the truth from The Bell Curve and other brave tomes that show the hard data. We need to stick to that and act accordingly.

  • ATBOTL

    What about the lack of white students in elite universities?. Ivy lLeage schools are only about 30% white European.

  • Anonymous

    The leftists will declare “academic background” as a discriminatory factor, and demand that colleges admit students without regard to any factor in which there is a racial disparity.

    The agenda seems to be that every college must have as many minority students as possible, at any cost.

  • Dave

    Another of those “water is wet” revelations. Blacks are more likely to apply to elite colleges than Whites (with similar scores) because they know affirmative action will help them get in. I didn’t waste my money applying to schools I knew I would not be admitted to; but had I been Black or Latino, I would have tried.

  • Anonymous

    Could the dearth of African Americans at these schools be affected by the number of students attending ‘historically black’ colleges? Don’t expect this to be part of the discussion.

  • Question Diversity

    Many elite colleges face considerable pressure to expand their outreach efforts to attract more minority students, or to consider changes in admissions policies.

    Steve Sailer informed us recently how they’ll pull off this magic trick. Drop the SAT/ACT testing requirements — Competitive white and Asians will still report their scores in order to toot their own horns, ergo high scores will be reported, to keep the school’s SAT/ACT admission average high and therefore its rankings in magazine reports. Meanwhile, the less intelligent blacks and Hispanics won’t report, and they’ll be let in, to increase the diversity of the incoming class. (Now, whether they’ll stay is another matter.)

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    “…the central issue appears to be the relatively small number of black and Latino applicants with academic backgrounds comparable to those of white students.”

    ===

    The paucity of college-ready black and Latino students in any same-age cohort of high school graduates is explained by the four-year academic skills gap by twelfth grade:

    “By the time [minority students] reach grade 12, if they do so at all, minority students are about four years behind other young people. Indeed, 17 year-old African American and Latino students have skills in English, mathematics and science similar to those of 13-year-old white students.” (Education Trust, “Closing the Achievement Gap,” National Governors Association Clearinghouse, 2002, 9th paragraph)

    http://tinyurl.com/2d6sayq

    Note the conditional “if they do so [reach 12th grade] at all.”

    Those words means that the black-white achievement gap is “four years” for the above-average contingent of black students still in school by 12th grade. The below-average contingent of black students (half of the age cohort) have already dropped out.

  • Anonymous

    “The relatively small numbers of black and Latino students in many elite colleges (and in higher education as a whole) continue to worry many educators.”

    Really? Why? Who’s worried? I thought their job was to teach at a university level.

    I have a theory and I’ve seen anecdotal evidence at several schools. After the flood of unprepared, semi-civilized blacks at better colleges in 80s and 90s there was a subtle pushback. Admissions officers and professors, and of course students, saw an endless stream of drop-outs, poor performers, out-and-out unprepared dummies, race-baiters, lawsuits, cheating, theft, etc…

    Without anything being said, these schools tightened their policies. Otherwise, they don’t need the embarrassment.

    My son attends an “elite” eastern college – the web site goes on about students of color, etc…and lists statistics that are laughed at by the students – they are blatant lies. One joke was that they counted you as black if you went to a tanning salon at least once a month.

    Just food for thought.

  • 9mmMax

    Right on El Pedo! Athletes are chosen by tests (try outs) and presumably these tests are racially fair to produce the strongest team. There may be some racial bias in favor of blacks today just because of their reputation as athletes, especially at predominantly black schools or subject to black coaches. Whites and Asians may be disappointed with these disparate results but they have learned to accept them as representative of talent.

    Likewise, we need to choose applicants to other professions and trades by testing that is racially unbiased. Yes, the results will be racially disparate just like the distribution of IQ is racially disparate. Blacks and browns are going to have to learn to accept disparate results from fair testing as a means of best utilizing the talents of the members of the society to the best advantage of the society. Intellectual testing results can be improved somewhat for blacks and browns if they will ever learn to seriously apply themselves to the development of those skills. Should a means of improving IQ be discovered or developed then we can all use a measure of that improvement.

  • Anonymous

    Critics of affirmative action have said that it sets up students to fail because it matches students up with colleges above their ability level. This article seems to be saying the opposite thing. It just goes to show you find what you are looking for? One day, a researcher at university may just start looking for whites and what their interests might be.

  • Anonymous

    In the words of the late, great Al Campanis, “blacks may not have some of the necessities”.

  • Anonymous

    Face it–general mental ability is pervasively manifest in quality settings, whether in education or work. With the exceptions of certain psychiatric categories like psychopaths or schizoids, people are not comfortable where they do not mesh with the gears of others. Mr. Reality has been in charge of the statistics in this matter. As the excellent Black intellectual Thomas Sewell has noted long ago, one of the most sadistic features of contemporary life has been the contrived elevation of an above-average Black student into too-high-demand circumstances in elite schools, causing him/her to fail and to suffer in contrast to the success he/she could have had in an ordinary state university, say, or a community college.

  • BigBerthaFatback

    #5, you have a point. When I was at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for graduate work in music, the head of the department took me on a very personal “tour” of the area, which included a visit to North Carolina Central University. This was in 1976 (yeah, I’m old, too!) and Dr. Iforgethisname said, “This is an historically black school. It is still black, BUT NOT BY MANDATE.” He then mentioned that his (white) wife was a professor there. Looking back on it, I hope she was close to retirement age, but I kind of doubt it. Anyway, militant blacks LOVE going to those historical (hysterical) black colleges. That way they can get a degree in white-hating. And, BTW, NCCU was indeed the very school from which that black woman falsely accused the Duke Lacrosse Team of raping her…. So yeah, the blacks who don’t make it into Harvard or Princeton doubtless go to the H.B.C.’s. Dang, we definitely should have taken Lincoln’s and others’ advice and sent every ex-slave home to Africa when we had the chance…

  • Ben

    @3

    However the consequence of lowering standards to fit some sort of ideology will be catastrophic.

    Multiculturalist have too much at stake. They are (as another person in another thread) trying DESPERATELY to fit a square cube toy into a circle hole. Which each “success” it will actually lead further to their decline. Yes, I quoted success, because when you lower standards nothing (and I mean nothing) good will come from it. They are desperate and have become blinded.

    If they were half as smart they would attempt to work on minorities through self accountability, responsibility, study, and rigor rather than change the system just to achieve an equal representation when disparity is present (which is not caused by unequal opportunity within institution as so many laws in place that forbid racial discrimination).

    Ironic, but the best advice can often come from where you lest expect it.

    However, for groups (and even individuals0, it is impossible to have the same innate advantages and disadvantages. And in some cases even social ones as well. Part of life is accepting that and making due with what you have. Not to mention being thankful for what you have rather then what you don’t.

    When someone, rather than blame their misfortunes on others, take control of their own troubles and rise above them will truly create self empowerment (and even on a group level a society will prosper).

    It is an admirable quality.

    And a huge aspect of wisdom.

  • Crystal

    One thing that has not been mentioned is that a sizeable number of latinos are illegal immigrants. It is estimated that at least 65,000 of them graduate from high school and only about 10% percent attend collge. They are not eligble for federal financial aid. In most states, they are required to pay out of state tuition. Only 11 states allow these students to pay in state tuition. But Texas is the only state that allows illegals to get state financial aid.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting timing. I was walking through my alma mater today. Virtually every student on campus was Asian. I saw a group of whites at one point, but they were just visitors. I began to feel like white people need some affirmative action, too.

    Most of the administrative personnel are either Hispanic or Black. I saw one black student.

    And fromthe article I thought this was risible:

    “a problem of “under-matching” in which black and Latino students may fail to apply to the most competitive colleges to which they could be admitted.”

    If anything they are applying to too many schools they have no business even considering.

  • Anonymous

    The Asian statistics are still skewed because they, just like Blacks, apply as “minority” students and therefore qualify for “diversity” considerations.

    When a college can’t justify accepting unqualified Blacks, they are forced to accept a higher percentage of Asians to keep the “diversity” books balanced.

  • cpascal

    The elite colleges should realize that the small number of blacks and Latinos on campus is probably one of the main reasons why they’re considered elite. If large numbers of blacks and Latinos turned up, the same thing would happen as has already happened in many cites which were mostly white. The whites would move away, lamenting the loss of yet another nice place to live, work, and study, while the blacks would create yet another environment of rowdiness and crime. A four-year education at one of these schools costs about $120,000, and people are willing to pay that because the school’s good reputation makes it likely that the education will produce much greater earnings in the future. The elite colleges will have to maintain their excellent reputations in order to remain elite colleges. That won’t happen if they turn their campuses into the ‘hood.

  • Jack

    “The relatively small numbers of black and Latino students in many elite colleges (and in higher education as a whole) continue to worry many educators.”

    This is why you have earned our scorn.

    You are “educators,” not teachers, not professors.

    You’re nothing more than propaganda proctors.

    Anyone truly worried about education would not give a tinkers damn about educating those that are not competent.

  • eugenicist

    According to La Griffe du Lion, there are 20-25,000 adults blacks in the country with IQs at or above 130. Which means there are enough smart black students for one HSBC to educate them all, but not enough for every school in the country to foster diversity and ability. It’s just not possible.

    Here’s the La Griffe du Lion article: http://goo.gl/ArymZ

  • Incognito

    The paucity of college-ready black and Latino students in any same-age cohort of high school graduates is explained by the four-year academic skills gap by twelfth grade

    It is easily explained by the inherent, immutable, low IQs of black and Latinos.

    One thing that has not been mentioned is that a sizeable number of latinos are illegal immigrants. It is estimated that at least 65,000 of them graduate from high school and only about 10% percent attend collge. They are not eligble for federal financial aid.

    California is about to pass the Dream Act II making illegals eligible for Cal Grants and other state college funds. The governor of the state has already said he will sign the bill.

    However the consequence of lowering standards to fit some sort of ideology will be catastrophic.

    The catastrophic consequences are already manifesting themselves. AA is a huge burden and drag on businesses mandated by the government to hire and promote unqualified blacks and hispanics.

    As long as the government insists that there are no racial differences, expect more to die in fires as unqualified firefighters are hired, more social chaos as inept or white-hating police officers are recruited, more angry militant black females to fill the ranks at the DMV, more low IQd teachers hired to “learn” our children, more inept, clueless “Maxine Waters”-type politicians voted in to further the breakup of our culture and society, displace and tax whites and further balkanize our once-great country.

    Expect violence on a scale never believed possible, ended by the ruthless crackdown of a new, all-powerful, authoritarian government.