LOS ANGELES - Despite recent improvements, Latino and black students continue to lag behind whites and Asians in becoming academically eligible to enter California's two public university systems, according to a state report released Tuesday.
The study by the California Postsecondary
Education Commission also showed that female high school seniors still
do significantly better than males in taking required classes and
earning grades and test scores that could gain them admission to the
University of California and California State University systems.
criticized recent proposals to reduce or cap enrollment at Cal State
and UC. "Exactly at the time that more students are preparing
themselves to go on to higher education, we are beginning to close the
doors on so many of these students," he said.
A student who
wants to be admitted to either university first has to establish basic
eligibility, then must typically meet separate, often tougher standards
for the campuses at which they hope to enroll.
reported that 22.5% of Latino high school graduates were eligible for
Cal State in 2007, up from 16% in 2003, when the last such study was
done. For black students, Cal State eligibility went up to 24%, from
Latino and black eligibility for UC's more rigorous
standards were 6.9% and 6.3%,respectively, last year, slightly higher
than four years ago.
White and Asian students did better in
meeting requirements for both universities. For Cal State, 37.1% of
white high school graduates were eligible last year and 50.9% of
Asians, both somewhat higher than in 2003. For UC, 14.6% of white
graduates and 29.4% of Asians met course, grade and test score
requirements; those rates were both slightly lower than in the previous
Factors holding down eligibility rates for black and
Latino students include shortages of the necessary courses and
sometimes inadequate counseling at high schools in many low-income,
often predominantly minority areas, Haberman said.
Cal State rates rose mainly because more students met new requirements
to take a second year of history and lab science, said Adrian Griffin,
the commission's research director. Griffin presented the report at a
meeting Tuesday in Sacramento.
"It takes time for schools to adjust their offerings, and it takes a while for the message to sink in for students," he said.
Griffin attributed the drops in white and Asian eligibility for UC to tighter course and grade requirements at the university.
also suggested that California's high school exit exam, required since
2006, cut out weaker students and may have affected eligibility rates
Continuing a gender imbalance at many U.S. colleges,
more women than men were ready for California's state universities.
About 15.3% of female high school graduates were eligible for UC,
compared with 11.2% of males, and 37.6% of women for Cal State,
compared with 27.3% for males.
On a sliding scale that also
includes standardized test scores, UC's minimum grade point average in
required high school courses is now a 3.0 -- a B average on a 4-point
scale -- and Cal State's is a 2.0, or a C average.
minimums, however, do not guarantee a spot at the most popular
campuses, where much higher standards usually are enforced.
eligibility study, which surveyed 72,000 transcripts at 158 public high
schools around California, found that UC and Cal State requirements are
well-aligned with their missions under the state's 1960 master plan for
About 13.4% of California high school
graduates were found to be eligible for UC in 2007, near the
university's target under the master plan of drawing from the top 12.5%
of the state's high school graduates. The Cal State eligibility rate
was 32.7%, very close to its 33.3% master plan guideline.
Previous commission surveys influenced university requirements.
For example, four years ago, a report found that many otherwise
UC-eligible students could not be accepted because they had not taken
the two subject exams required by UC in addition to the basic SAT or
ACT tests. Now, UC is on the verge of changes that, among other things,
would drop the subject tests mandate.
California's Minorities Still Lag In University Eligibility
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