New Study of “Holistic” Admissions at UCLA Generates Controversy

Glenn Ricketts

UCLA law professor Richard Sander is in the news again, following release of this study of undergraduate admissions policies at his university. According to Sander’s findings, UCLA's “holistic” approach– that’s a new one for me – actually weighs race and ethnicity far heavier than other factors in determining admissions decisions for some students, whose academic credentials are significantly weaker than many other applicants who weren’t admitted. 

Sander, as we saw here recently, is not one to mince words about race-based admissions policies, even if, as at UCLA, you come up with a novel term like “holistic” to try and provide cover for something that’s purely, simply, flatly, indisputably, unarguably illegal, as he concludes.  

Not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of faux pain and canned anguish at UCLA – see the description here in IHE recently – where various student groups protested and university administrators – who evidently did not read the report or dispute its accuracy – complained about its “hurtful” impact on UCLA minority students.   

But as one of the posters in the comments thread observes, what about the “hurt” that results from the inevitably high failure rate among unprepared students admitted under UCLA’s “holistic” criteria?  No one, he concludes, seems to want to talk about that.  I wonder why.

  • Share

Most Commented

October 11, 2021


The Shame of MIT: Canceling Dorian Abbot

Professor Abbot was set to deliver MIT's prestigious Carlson Lecture—that is, until he was canceled for his views on DEI programs, earning him a prompt disinvitation....

October 5, 2021


NAS Statement on Gender Ideology in Higher Education

The National Association of Scholars opposes the proliferation of gender ideology in American higher education....

September 9, 2021


Winning the Cold Civil War

The threat from the illiberal left grows. How should we fight it?...

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 15, 2021


Tracking Cancel Culture in Higher Education

UPDATED: A repository of 194 professors, administrators, and students who have been canceled for expressing views deemed unacceptable by higher education ideologues....

May 26, 2010


10 Reasons Not to Go to College

A sampling of arguments for the idea that college may not be for everyone....