NEWS RELEASE, 5/14/97
Boalt Hall reports a substantial drop in offers of admission made to minority applicants other than Asians
Berkeley -- The elimination of affirmative action has produced a substantial drop in the number of offers of admission made to minority applicants other than Asians for fall 1997 at UC Berkeley's School of Law (Boalt Hall).
This is the first admissions cycle in which Boalt Hall has eliminated race and ethnicity from consideration in making its admissions decisions, in compliance with the UC Regents' 1995 resolution prohibiting affirmative action in admissions.
This year, for the first time, Boalt Hall asked Law Services, the non-profit corporation that administers the Law School Admissions Test, not to include race or ethnicity information in the Law Services reports that are included in individual applicants' admissions files. However, once admissions decisions had been made, Boalt Hall sought data from Law Services on the race and ethnicity of those who had received offers of admission.
The data were released today regarding the 832 applicants who have received offers of admission to join the entering class of 270 students in the fall of 1997. Boalt Hall has now completed the process of denying, admitting, or wait-listing all applicants, although additional applicants may still be admitted from the waiting list.
These 832 offers of admission include 40 offers that were originally extended last year when Boalt Hall was still using an admissions policy that permitted affirmative action. For various reasons, these 40 individuals were granted permission to defer their admission to the fall of 1997.
In order to measure the impact of eliminating affirmative action in the admissions process, the 40 applicants who were admitted in 1996 under the prior admissions policy were deducted from the total number of applicants admitted for the fall of 1997 in the attached table. (Those 40 who deferred admission include 3 African Americans, 9 Asians and Pacific Islanders, 3 Chicanos, 6 Latinos, no Native Americans, 2 who identified their race or ethnicity as "Other", 16 Caucasians, and 1 applicant whose race or ethnicity was not identified.)
The 792 offers of admission for the fall of 1997 were made under the new admissions policy to:
14 African Americans -- (1.8 percent of 792 admits)
149 Asians and Pacific Islanders -- (18.8 percent)
23 Chicanos -- (2.9 percent)
16 Latinos (Hispanic and Puerto Rican) -- (2 percent)
2 Native Americans -- (0.3 percent)
40 applicants who identified their race or ethnicity as "Other" -- (5.1 percent)
538 Caucasians -- (67.9 percent)
10 applicants who did not identify their race or ethnicity -- (1.3 percent).
This is a marked contrast to the offers of admission made last year under an affirmative action admissions policy. Boalt Hall made 815 offers of admission last year, including offers made to applicants who were originally wait-listed. These offers were made to:
75 African Americans -- (9.2 percent of the 815 admits)
126 Asians and Pacific Islanders -- (15.5 percent)
44 Chicanos -- (5.4 percent)
34 Latinos (Hispanic and Puerto Rican) -- (4.2 percent)
9 Native Americans -- (1.1 percent)
50 applicants who identified their race or ethnicity as "Other" -- (6.1 percent)
467 Caucasians -- (57.3 percent)
10 applicants who did not identify their race or ethnicity -- (1.2 percent)
Responding to this data, Boalt Hall Dean Herma Hill Kay stated, "This dramatic decline in the number of offers of admission made to non-Asian minority applicants is precisely what we feared would result from the elimination of affirmative action at Boalt. When I testified before the Board of Regents in May of 1995, I opposed the proposed resolution banning affirmative action in admissions and explained that such a resolution would make an enormous difference in the composition of our student body."
"The students and faculty at Boalt Hall have obtained great educational benefit from the racial diversity of our student body," she said. "Moreover, our minority graduates have made significant contributions to the legal profession."
Dean Kay added, "I deeply regret that Boalt's offers of admission to minority applicants have dropped so sharply. We must do everything we can to encourage those students of color who are admitted to Boalt Hall to accept our offers of admission."
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