UC statement on SCOTUS decision regarding the use of race in college admissions

University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., issued the following statement today (Thursday, June 29) on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the use of race in college admissions:

We are disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to bar the use of race in college admissions, a valuable practice that has helped higher education institutions increase diversity and address historical wrongs over the past several decades.

Student diversity remains a top priority for the University of California — one that we will continue to pursue with every tool available to us. Attracting, supporting and retaining a diverse student body leads to better quality instruction and educational outcomes, significant community benefits and overall fairness.

Since the consideration of race in admissions was banned in California 27 years ago by Proposition 209, the University of California has adjusted its admissions practices to comply with the law while continuing to aggressively pursue avenues for increasing diverse student applications, admissions, enrollment, and retention. Through a comprehensive admissions review process, we have made important strides in this area — but more work remains to be done by us all.

Today’s court decision bars the use of an important tool for other higher education institutions. The consideration of race was not the conclusive solution to inequities in college admissions, but it was an important pathway to addressing systemic deficiencies. Without it, we must work much harder to identify and address the root causes of societal inequities that hinder diverse students in pursuing and achieving a higher education.

The University of California continues to work to create clearer pathways to college and to address inequality in admissions. We stand ready to share our expertise and lessons learned as we collaborate with our partners to achieve a higher education landscape that reflects the rich diversity of our nation.

Additional background:

  • The consideration of race in admissions was banned in California in 1996 through the voter-approved Proposition 209. Since that time, the University of California has used a comprehensive review process to evaluate applicants based on multiple factors, including:

    • Academic accomplishments in light of a student’s life experiences and special circumstances;

    • Quality of academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in the applicant’s high school;

    • Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress; and

    • Special talents, achievements, skills, or experiences.

  • The University of California offers information, training and academic support for students, their families and guardians, and K-12 educators to encourage college preparation and application from students of all backgrounds.

UC undergraduates by race and ethnicity

  • Fall 2022:

    • 32.2% Asian

    • 22.5% Hispanic/Latino

    • 22.2% White

    • 4.5% African American

    • 0.5% American Indian

    • 0.3% Pacific Islander

    • 2.8% Domestic unknown

    • 15% international

  • 2002 (post Prop. 209)

    • 38% Asian

    • 14% Hispanic/Latino

    • 36% White

    • 3% African American

    • 1% American Indian

    • 1% Pacific Islander

    • 8% Domestic unknown

    • 1% International

  • 1994 (pre-Prop. 209):

    • 37% Asian

    • 15% Hispanic/Latino

    • 36% White

    • 4% African American

    • 1% American Indian

    • 0% Pacific Islander

    • 5% Domestic unknown

    • 1% International