Fewer minority students accepted at UC campuses; numbers climbing for CSUs

The number of African American and Latino students accepted to the University of California system has been steadily declining since 1996, when California voters banned affirmative action, according to a report by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute in October 2004.

The report is part of a report series entitled, “Turning the Tide or Turning Them Away,” which claims that the UC system has made it harder for minority students to be admitted.

The report showed that the acceptance rate for Latino students at UC schools in 1995 was 70 percent, and in 2003, it fell to 50 percent. For African American students, the acceptance rate in 1995 was 60 percent, and in 2003, it fell below 40 percent.

The UC admissions system, only counts each student once, regardless of how many campuses a student applies to.

According to the Asian American Economic Development Enterprise, opponents of affirmative action have viewed the idea as perpetuating discrimination. The claim that affirmative action is a way to provide representation to minority groups that have been historically underrepresented and should be considered a positive action.

In the CSU system, the trends are different.

“For the Fall 2004 term, the total enrollment for the CSU system was 397,048,” said Clara Potes-Fellow, CSU spokesperson. “That number includes duplicated applications.”

According to a report released by the CSU system, the total student enrollment for Fall 2004 at all CSU campuses was 397,048 students, including 61,038 Latinos, 22,585 African Americans, 50,568 Asian-Americans, and 2,904 American Indians.

While enrollment of minorities in the UC system seems to be decreasing, minority enrollment in the CSU system seems to be steadily climbing for African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans.

From 1987 to 1997, Caucasians were the only group who saw a decrease in enrollment numbers, falling by more than 23,000 for undergraduate students in the 10-year span. Recently, enrollment for caucasians has begun to steadily climb again by about 9,000 undergraduate students, reaching a total of 41,019 undergraduate students enrolled in 2002.

For Cecia Juarez, a senior at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, applying to the UC system was only a dream. She felt the number of years spent at an inner-city school, like many other minority students, had not properly prepared her for attendance at a UC school.

“I wanted to apply to the UCs,” Juarez said. “But I was afraid of being rejected, and I thought that I wasn’t going to make it.”

Juarez has always been an A and B student in high school, and today holds a 3.6 grade point average, which she finds to be insufficient in the UC system.

“My A at Manual Arts might be a C at Palisades High School,” Juarez said. ” Manual Arts, like every other school in the LAUSD, has been stereotyped because it doesn’t have good teachers, and students tend to fail.”

Juarez will be attending CSUN in the Fall 2005 and said she feels CSUN is the right place for her.

“I visited the campus and I fell in love with it,” said Juarez. “I like the teacher-to-student ratio.”

Sal Hernandez contributed to this report.