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College Access

Our current research topics related to college access include college admissions, affirmative action, financing, diversity, and underrepresented students in higher education.

Two thousand-eight marked the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Bakke decision, which legally upheld the consideration of race as a factor in admissions decisions for the purpose of promoting diversity in higher education. Such affirmative action policies have opened the doors of selective colleges and universities to many more minority students than might have otherwise had opportunities. While access to higher education has improved for minorities in this country, that progress is still severely threatened due, in part, to a series of very serious attacks on affirmative action. In 1996, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Hopwood v. University of Texas Law School, ended all considerations of race in admissions, recruitment, and scholarships at the undergraduate and graduate school level at all public institutions under its jurisdiction (i.e., Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana). In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, a ballot initiative that also eliminated affirmative action in education, employment, and contracting throughout the state. And, the University of Michigan faced legal challenges in 2003 to both its undergraduate and law school admissions policies that give consideration to race/ethnicity.

 

Recent College Access Research

Research Item The Promise and Peril for Universities Using Correlates of Race in Admissions in Response to the Grutter and Fisher Decisions
 
Research Item Can Socioeconomic Status Substitute for Race in Affirmative Action College Admissions Policies? Evidence From a Simulation Model
 
Research Item Two Decades After the Affirmative Action Ban: Evaluating the University of California’s Race-Neutral Efforts
 
Research Item Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape
This report was produced by Pearson, ACE and the CRP to broaden the understanding of the work and challenges facing institutions and further much-needed dialogue on how they can best respond to a shifting policy and legal landscape at a time when access to postsecondary education has never been more vital and our American citizenry never so diverse.
Research Item Is Opportunity Knocking or Slipping Away? Racial Diversity and Segregation in Pennsylvania
As a slow-growth increasingly diverse state with an aging population, Pennsylvania needs to think hard about its continued passive acceptance of segregated and inferior schooling, and about the spread of destructive racial patterns from urban areas into growing sectors of suburbia and small cities.
Research Item The Salience of Racial Isolation: African Americans’ and Latinos’ Perceptions of Climate and Enrollment Choices with and without Proposition 209
The study compares the ways in which California’s ban on affirmative action harms the University of California in comparison to the University of Texas and leading private institutions in terms of both the climate on campus for nonwhite students and the lack of success in recruiting top-ranked applicants of color.
Research Item Brief of American Social Science Researchers in Fisher v. University of Texas
American social scientists from all parts of the country present a summary of research findings to the Supreme Court as it prepares to hear a key case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, on the future of integration in America’s colleges this October.
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