Conventional wisdom says Asian-American applicants face higher hurdle than others at elite colleges. Federal probe raises question of whether differential standards can be proven and -- if so -- would violate the law.
A new analysis from the Center for American Progress shows black and Latino students are underrepresented in the country's most selective public research universities. As many as 193,000 black and Latino students would have enrolled in these selective colleges in 2014 if student representation was proportional, according to the report.
The study finds that minority students are overrepresented in less selective public four-year colleges, community and technical colleges. Approximately 9 percent of black students and 12 percent of Latino students attend top public research universities.
"Disparities in college enrollment matter, as the type of school a student attends plays a substantial role in their likelihood of successful completion," says the report. "The most elite public colleges conduct high levels of academic research, have selective admissions and produce strong outcomes. At these colleges, the average graduation rate is nearly double those at less selective public colleges."
Concordia College (New York) has dropped its requirement that applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores. "Our small size affords us the ability for our applicants to be more than just a number," said a statement from Brian Sondey, Concordia's director of first-year admission. "Every applicant is unique and we believe in the holistic review of applications, with or without test scores."
From the 2009-10 school year to 2015-16, enrollment at the University of Houston increased 18 percent, as the university also moved to boost research spending and athletics. But during that same time period, black enrollment fell 17 percent, The Texas Tribune reported. Black students went from making up 15 percent of the student body to 10 percent. Some black leaders have charged that the university has ignored the issue. Houston officials said that they are in fact paying more attention, and hope to reverse the trend.
Chicago State University's enrollment has plunged amid budget cuts and turmoil, with the university serving a largely black student body on the South Side of Chicago reporting overall enrollment down 25 percent over the past year and just 86 freshmen entering this fall.
The 86 freshmen enrolled counts full-time and part-time students. Chicago State has 3,578 students taking classes this fall, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday. That's down from 7,362 in 2010. Of the students enrolled, 2,352 are undergraduates and 1,226 are graduate students.
The College Board today announces average scores on the SAT for last year's high school graduating class -- and such announcements are typically a time of debate over the state of education, the value of standardized testing, educational inequities and more. This year's results are somewhat difficult to analyze, because some students took the old version of the SAT and others the new. The College Board reported declines in the average scores from the class, but those averages are for those who took the old SAT. The ACT also reported declines this year, noting that more students are taking the test. Both the College Board and the ACT are pursuing more contracts with states to require high school seniors to take one test or the other, and that means more test takers may not in fact be prepared for or preparing for college.
In comparing the old SAT's scores for the class of 2016, compared to 2015:
The average for critical reading was 494, down from 497.