The Virginia chapter of the National Association of Scholars has requested admissions data regarding race from the University of Virginia. UVa is considering how much data to release, but in its article today on the request the Charlottesville Daily Progress provides some disturbing data:
UVa received 15,094 freshman applications this year, including 1,018 from black students. UVa accepted 4,724 students in March; 582 are black. They must accept or decline the invitation by the beginning of May.
[ADDENDUM, 9/7/14: The link to the Charlottesville Daily Progress article quoted here has been removed because the article is no longer available online. In fact, NO old Daily Progress article is any longer?available online.] If these numbers are correct, then:
- 7% of the applicants were black;
- 12.3% of the admittees were black;
- 29.4% of the non-black applicants were admitted;
- 57.1% of the black applicants were admitted.
What does UVa say about these numbers? UVa’s dean of all things black, M. Rick Turner, pointed once again to “the university’s 87% black graduation rate, the highest of all American public universities.”
“Every African-American student gets accepted into the University of Virginia for the same reasons anyone gets accepted,” he said. “They’re qualified and they fit.”
But critics of racial preference do not maintain that minority admittees are not “qualified.” The complaint is that they are held to a different, and lower, standard than other applicants. As I discussed in some detail here, the SAT scores of entering black freshman at UVa are some 200 points lower than the average for the entering class (and thus even further below the average for whites and Asians). As the Center for Equal Opportunity found in a study, discussed here, the relative odds favoring black over white applicants with the same grades and test scores at UVa was 111 to 1. As Linda Chavez, head of CEO, wrote in a Wall Street Journal OpEd (2/22/2001), “To put this in some perspective, the relative odds that a smoker compared to a non-smoker will develop lung cancer are 14 to 1.” (The CEO study can also be found on its web site, here.) Although the 87% black graduation rate at UVa is impressive, it is also true that the rate at which blacks fail to graduate at UVa is over twice as high as for non-blacks, a point discussed here.
But not to worry. Carol Wood, UVa spokesperson, assures us that “the university’s policy is within last year’s Supreme Court ruling allowing race to be considered in admissions but not to assign a specific point value to race or ethnicity in such decisions.” Race, no doubt, is just “one of many factors” the university considers.