Texas residents ranked at the top of their high school class (usually the top 10%) are eligible for automatic admission and fill 75% of the available in-state spots.
Those who do not meet this qualification are admitted based on factors such as academic achievement, extracurricular activities, cultural background and race.
The paper then turns to a similar discussion of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions, focusing on evidence of the extent of race-based admissions practices and the effect such preferences have on the quality of schools in which minority students enroll, graduation rates, college major and earnings.
We pay much attention to the evidence from state-level bans on affirmative action and argue these bans are very informative about how affirmative action affects URM students.
Instead, we present evidence consistent with the idea that Proposition 209 increased the signaling value of attending UC schools for minorities.” “The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on College Enrollment, Educational Attainment and the Demographic Composition of Universities” Hinrichs, Peter. Abstract: “Based on research conducted during a large-scale European Commission project on international perspectives on positive/affirmative action measures, the authors provide a comparative analysis of the legal context and perceptions of the impact of positive action in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The study adopted participatory methods including consensus workshops, interviews, and legal analysis to obtain data from those individuals responsible for designing and implementing positive action measures.
The ruling in the case would technically only apply to public universities; but if the Court had ruled that affirmative action programs constitute racial discrimination, private universities would likely also be forbidden from using race in admission under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids racial discrimination in all programs that receive federal funding.
(For more on this case, you can read the official transcript of the oral arguments as well as consult the SCOTUSblog.) The case is only the latest wrinkle in a decades-old legal battle: In the 1978 case — the Court affirmed the right of the University of Michigan Law School to consider race as part of a “holistic review” of an application.
High school students from low-income families of all races are less likely to apply to universities.
National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, February 2015.