When the University of California decided to eliminate those cruel and pesky SAT subject tests from admissions requirements, they probably expected a more universal cry of ecstatic gratitude, or at the very least an exhalation.  Rejoice, class of ’16 hopefuls!  One more precious Saturday morning remains happily intact!  However, getting caught up in sticking it to the boys over in Princeton, the UC left the Asian population out to dry.  Now, they face cries of “discrimination.”

The University of California claims its intention was to promote diversity.  Students from impoverished socioeconomic backgrounds, the African American and Latino populations in particular, tend to do poorly on subject tests, which are often daunting enough to discourage application to the UC in the first place.  At the same time, however, whites tend to do much better on the regular SAT than the subject SAT, and Asian UC applicants, studious go-getters that they often are, experience the reverse.

Opponents to the change expect way more white and way fewer Asian acceptees.  The Asian population decries the policy as a discriminatory response to the widespread belief that “there are too many Asians in the UC” (46 percent at UC Berkeley).  You’re in the dog house now, UC.

Image Source: Litandmore under Creative Commons
New UC admissions policy gives white students a better chance, angers Asian-American community [Merucury News]

jon said:
Mar 28, 2009 at 11:04 pm

The courts decided that affirmative action is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on race, but apparently everyone forgot.

We should shape our admissions process to ensure the best minds enter the system, regardless of race, which seems to be what the new changes are instituting. Appealing to changing educational policies as a loophole to affirmative action is so widespread that it seems that many feel the UC system is entitled to change policy to ensure racial minority quotas.

James Chen said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 1:25 am

Thank you, UC Regents, for boosting my business by 30%!


student said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I don’t think this is discrimination, considering that everyone, not just the Asian student population, is subject to this adjustment. If anything, this policy is trying to democratize admissions.

Admissions to the University of California should be based on merit, and it’s been shown that SAT scores are, contrary to popular belief, not accurate reflections of aptitude or eligibility.

Beetle said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Of course it’s discrimination. They never pretended that it’s not. If you look at what they talk about, it’s always about getting the correct races admitted. After their study showing how useless the SAT I was prompted them to eliminate the SAT II, they wouldn’t even bother to deny it at this point.

pooneh said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm

not to sound racist, but the reasons asians do so well on the sat2 is that many of them take one of the language tests and ace it. To me this is unfair, regardless of what race or background you are from. While a multicultural background should reflect well in your application, scoring an 800 on a language test that you have been speaking your whole life is ridiculous.

Beetle said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Seems like hispanics would be in the same boat, no? Of course, you haven’t provided any numbers to back up your claim, so yeah, you do sound pretty much like a racist.

DG said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm

People are decrying the estimated impact on different racial categories instead of evaluating the merits of the changes themselves. A few points:

- Remember, these changes apply narrowly to the UC-wide admissions process (people given admission to Riverside or Merced because no campus they applied to accepted them); this does not affect the process individual campuses use to evaluate students.

- The socioeconomic concept of “diversity” encompasses more than phenotype. More significant than the abolition of SAT II’s is that students are now guaranteed admission by being in the top 9% (instead of the current 4%) of GPA and test scores for their own school. This helps kids from disadvantaged schools, presumably more likely from lower-income backgrounds, regardless of race.

- The changes also allow for “comprehensive review” at the system-wide level, instead of the current score-only system of squeaking kids in who are denied admission at the specific campuses they apply to. This is a poor mechanism, particularly given that we’re mostly talking about “marginal” students (by that I mean those who are on the edge of being admitted to any campus). Providing comprehensive review in this case is useful, for it allows kids with less-than-stellar scores to demonstrate in their personal statements what challenges they might have faced that prevented them from achieving at the same level as their counterparts.

Read the UCOP’s report yourself and form your own opinion:

somethingwong! said:
Mar 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

it seems to me that only Asian people are upset. What is the problem, you can’t perform on the regular SAT? This will only enrich the UC experience for all of us. If you can’t perform on the SAT’s maybe you shouldn’t be admitted-black, white, Hispanic or Asian. Stop complaining this is not an attack on the asian pop at uc, rather an invitation for those whose parents don’t own a liquor store and cannot afford to take the SAT to apply. Get over it, this is not about you for once!

James Chen said:
Mar 30, 2009 at 11:47 am

College Admissions according to the UC Regents:

Diverse student body=White majority

Non-diverse student body=Asian majority

Any questions? Ask!

Adam said:
Mar 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Yes. An Asian majority is not diverse because Asians are not a majority in the general population.

paul roscelli said:
Apr 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm

As a “white” alum who has two “white” nieces and a “white” godson, all of which i would love to see go to Cal, i could not object MORE to this insipid policy. This is why i no longer give a donation to UC. If the Asian kids are better prepared, so be it. They get in while my “white” relatives go elsewhere. Diversity is a crock!

parent said:
Jun 17, 2009 at 9:40 am

i agree with ‘student’ upthread. SAT scores haven’t been proven predictive of university success or even retention for that matter. this is NOT an asian versus white matter. it’s funny how NOBODY thought anything was wrong with the fact that for years UCs have been dominated by only two ethnic categories (white and asian) when california is a very ethnically diverse state. now that the playing field is being levelled, there’s outrage. hmmmm….

Snoop said:
Jun 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

There ARE too many boring asians in the UCs

Kevin said:
Dec 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Asians are boring. We just fuck. Look at the largest population. who knows snoop might get an asian son in law.

angryasianperson said:
Feb 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm

you are all racist. being a certain race doesn’t equate to being a certain characteristic. does anyone notice that this admissions policy is just turning students against each other? wow….think about it. goodbye.

Transparency said:
Sep 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Cal Senator Mark DeSaulnier in a letter dated Sept 9 refutes that there has been a decline in Lation enrollment at UC Berkeley for 2110. -0.4% (his figure) is not a figure that requires any action on his behalf he says. Senator can be contacted at 916.651.4007, 925.942.6082.Pass it on!

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