Effects of Affirmative Action Ban Unclear on Michigan Admissions

ANN ARBOR, Mich.

The effect of Michigan’s new anti-affirmative action law has had an unclear effect on minority admissions at the University of Michigan, the school says.

There were 2,460 admissions applications from American Indians, Blacks and Hispanics this year, up 10.5 percent over last year, according to figures released Friday and reported by The Detroit News and The Ann Arbor News.

In the weeks leading up to Proposal 2’s implementation, the university said it admitted 55 percent more minority students than the same period a year before. However, minority admissions declined 25 percent in a period that includes the time after.

University leaders cautioned that the numbers were too preliminary to draw conclusions. Spokeswoman Julie Peterson says the university made no special effort to push through minority students before the ban took effect.

“We didn’t evaluate their applications first. We evaluated their applications in the order they came in,” she says.

The application deadline was Feb. 1. The school has rolling admissions and is still making decisions. In all, the school received 26,554 applications, a 6.5 percent increase from a year ago.

Proposal 2, approved in November, bans the use of race and gender preferences in public university admissions and government hiring and contracting.

Jennifer Gratz, who led the push for Proposal 2, says students want to be judged on their merits.

“What really discourages people from applying is when universities tell people that they need some sort of preference to be accepted, which is what the university has basically been saying,” she says.

The new law took effect Dec. 23. Cases challenging all or parts of Proposal 2 continue in federal courts.

— Associated Press

 

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