Magazine article Academe

Percent Plans Do Not Increase Diversity, Studies Say

Magazine article Academe

Percent Plans Do Not Increase Diversity, Studies Say

Article excerpt

Percent Plans Do Not Increase Diversity, Studies Say

Plans in Texas, California, and Florida that automatically admit to college students in the top portion of their high school classes are not adequate substitutes for affirmative action when it comes to diversifying the student body, two studies released last winter found. Closing the Gap, issued by the Texas Top 10% Project, a group conducting a long-term study of college admissions in Texas, reports that the percent plan adopted in 1998 has failed to restore minority enrollments at the state's flagship institutions to the levels achieved before affirmative action was eliminated in Texas. The demographic profiles of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University do not match the growth of minorities as a proportion of college-age students in the state, say the report's authors, a group of sociologists. They note that white students who are admitted, especially to the University of Texas, are much more likely to enroll than are their African American and Hispanic counterparts.

Percent Plans in College Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Three States' Experiences, issued by Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, presents the results of a study of the Texas plan and similar plans in California and Florida. The report concludes that, on the whole, such plans do not guarantee diversity, that the small successes they have had are attributable largely to other race-attentive outreach, and that such plans are least effective at the most competitive institutions. …

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