Monday's Headlines: California Schools Dodge Affirmative Action Ban

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Despite an affirmative action ban, the University of California system is embarking on an innovative strategy to increase the diversity of its applicant pool. And the Haas Business School at the University of California-Berkeley is the incubator for this strategy, reports Businessweek.

California banned affirmative action in 1996 and freshman enrollment of blacks in the UC system fell from 4.2 percent in the 1995-96 school year to 2.8 percent in 2004-05. In recent years, the number of black undergraduates has inched up slightly to 3.7 percent as the system’s universities have employed strategies such as wooing students from low-income homes and those who are the first in their family to go to college. The system has also teamed up with groups like the Urban League and First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Now the UC system is looking to further diversify its graduate student body.

This is where the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley comes in.

The school has 25 spots reserved for underclassmen at historically black colleges for a special summer program that may help them get into the school’s vaunted MBA program. University officials believe that recruiting students at historically black colleges will help them increase their pool of black applicants without running afoul of the law.

 

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