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Affirmative Action Isn’t Helping Black Or Hispanic Students, Analysis Finds

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Black and Hispanic students are more under-represented in colleges than they were decades ago, despite affirmative action in college admissions, a New York Times analysis found Thursday.

The New York Times analyzed admissions enrollment from 100 of the best Ivy League schools, liberal colleges, universities and prominent public state universities in the U.S. dating back to 1980.

The analysis revealed that with affirmative action, black students only made 6 percent of college freshman, despite being 15 percent of college age students. As for Hispanic students, more of them are at the top universities, but the number hasn’t kept pace with the rise in the Hispanic college age population. Hispanics made up 13 percent of college freshmen but made up 22 percent of the college age population.

TheNYT found that black students only made up 9 percent of freshman students, while Hispanic students represented 15 percent of students at Ivy League Schools. White students’ enrollment also went down, while the percent of Asia-American students on the Ivy League campuses increased slightly. When it comes to liberal arts colleges, black and Hispanic students enrollment was on pace with those at Ivy League schools overall.

At other top universities in the country, the amount of white students has also gone down, while the population of black and Hispanic students still are underrepresented.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights argued that part of the lack of representation on college campuses of minority students could stem from a lack of access to good teachers, advanced classes and good classrooms.

“There’s such a distinct disadvantage to begin with,” said David Hawkins, an executive director at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “A cascading set of obstacles all seem to contribute to a diminished representation of minority students in highly selective colleges.”

The Department of Justice recently sent out a memo asking if lawyers would be willing to potentially investigate a complaint filed by a group of Asian-American students alleging discrimination in affirmative action.

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