COLUMBUS, OH - A new study just released by the Center for Equal Opportunity documents evidence of significant discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate admissions at Ohio State University and Miami University. African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latinos were given preferences over whites and, again to a lesser extent, Asians.
The study is based on data supplied by the universities themselves.
The odds ratio favoring African Americans over whites was 10-to-1 or 8-to-1 at Miami (depending on whether the ACT or SAT was used along with high school grades and other factors), and nearly 8-to-1 or over 3-to-1 at Ohio State (again, depending on whether the ACT or SAT was used).The black-white gap in median SAT scores varied from 110 to 160 points at the two schools, the ACT gap was consistently 4 (which translates into an even larger gap), and there were gaps in high-school grades as well.
CEO chairman Linda Chavez noted:“The study shows that many, many students are rejected in favor of students with lower test scores and grades, and the reason is that they have the wrong skin color or their ancestors came from the wrong countries.”She added that significantly fewer African Americans are likely to graduate than whites and Asians.“You aren’t doing someone a favor if you admit him to a school and then he doesn’t graduate.”
Roger Clegg added:“The discrimination becomes more pronounced among students with lower standardized tests scores and grades.For example, at Miami more than eight out of ten African Americans with ACT scores and GPAs at the 25th percentile of black admittees were admitted, versus half of Hispanics, four out of ten Asians, and fewer than one out of three whites with those credentials.At OSU, more than seven out of ten blacks with these credentials were admitted, versus fewer than two out of ten whites.”
Miami University (MU) awarded a large degree of preference in undergraduate admissions to blacks over whites and Asians, and, to a lesser extent, to Hispanics and Asians over whites. Ohio State University (OSU) awarded a large degree of preference to Hispanics and blacks over whites, and, to a lesser extent, to Asians over whites.The evidence of these preferences is manifested in a number of ways.
Odds Ratios. The relative odds of admission of a black over a white applicant at MU and OSU were large, controlling for test scores (either the SAT or ACT), grades, gender, residency, and year of admission.
At MU, black-to-white odds ratios favoring blacks were 8.0 to 1 using these factors and the SATs and 10.2 to 1 using these factors and the ACTs.
At OSU, the black-to-white odds ratios favored blacks by 3.3 to 1 using the SAT and 7.9 to 1 using the ACT.
Preference was also awarded Hispanics at both schools, controlling for other factors.
At MU, the odds ratios for Hispanics over whites (2.2 to 1 using either SATs or ACTs) showed a moderate preference given Hispanics over whites.
OSU exhibited a strong admission preference of Hispanic over white applicants, of roughly 4.3 to 1 when using the SAT and 6.5 to 1 using the ACT.
Both schools granted a modest degree of preference to Asians.
MU awarded preference to Asians over whites, by 2.1 to 1 with the SATs and 1.6 to 1 with the ACTs.
OSU awarded slight preference to Asians over whites, by 1.5 to 1 when using the SAT and 2.1 to 1 with the ACTs.
Probabilities of Admission. Odds ratios may be illustrated by presenting them as probabilities of admission given similar characteristics and qualifications.
At MU, Hispanic, Asian, and white applicants with the same credentials as the average black admittee were all less likely to be admitted compared to the average black applicant with these same credentials. For example, while the percentages admitted with these credentials are all quite high, the percentage of in-state whites admitted is roughly 12 percentage points lower. Conversely, the percentage of rejected in-state white applicants (13%) is 13 times larger than the estimated percentage for in-state blacks (1%) with the same credentials as the average black admittee. For Asians, the percentage of rejected in-state applicants (9%) is about nine times larger; and for in-state rejected Hispanic applicants, it is about six times larger (6%). Additionally, in-state residency confers no particularly significant advantage at MU. In-state Hispanic, Asian, and white applicants were less likelyto be admitted with the same academic credentials as the average black out-of-state applicant. Thus, 98% of out-of-state blacks would be admitted with these credentials, compared to 94% of in-state Hispanics, 91% of in-state Asians, and 87% of in-state whites.
OSU admitted roughly 98% of in-state black and Hispanic applicants with the same credentials as the average black admittee. In-state Asian and white applicants with this same set of credentials and background were less likely to be admitted—for example, 88% of in-state white applicants were admitted with the same credentials as the average black admittee (a 10-point difference). While this percentage admitted is still high, it can again be looked at another way: The percentage of in-state whites rejected by OSU (12%) is roughly six times larger than the percentage of rejected in-state blacks (2%). For Asians, the percentage of in-state applicants rejected by OSU (6%) is about three times larger.
Disparities were even starker when using the black admittee test scores and grades at the 25th percentile.
At MU, more than eight out of ten blacks with ACT scores and GPAs at the 25th percentile of black admittees were admitted, compared to roughly half of Hispanics, approximately four out of ten Asians, and fewer than one out of three whites with the same credentials. Thus, approximately 83% of out-of-state blacks with these test scores and grades were admitted compared to 52% of in-state Hispanics, 43% of in-state Asians, and 32% of in-state whites.
At OSU, more than seven in ten black applicants with these credentials were admitted, compared to significantly fewer Hispanics, Asians, and whites with the same academic credentials. As a result, 79% of black out-of state applicants with these scores and grades were admitted, compared to 68% of in-state Hispanics, 40% of in-state Asians, and only 12% of in-state whites.
SATs, ACTs, and High School Grades
Overall, black admittees to MU and OSU had significantly lower SATs and ACTs compared to those of Hispanic, Asian, and white admittees.The white-black gap in median SAT scores varied from 110 to 160 points, and the ACT gap was consistently 4. The differences in high school grades for MU and high school class rank for OSU were smaller.
To a lesser extent, there were also gaps in SATs and ACTs between white and Hispanic admittees at both schools, where whites who were admitted had higher test scores. As for high school grades, at MU whites also had a slightly higher high-school GPA, but at OSU Hispanic admittees had the higher class rank.
In contrast, Asians were admitted with somewhat higher SAT scores than whites, but there was no overall difference in ACT scores. Asian admittees to MU also had slightly better high school GPAs, and Asian admittees to OSU had a slightly higher high school class rank.
Rejectees versus Admittees. We compared the test scores and high school grades of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites rejected by these schools despite academic credentials higher than those of black admittees at the 25th percentile (and at the 50th percentile).
In 2006, MU rejected 1 black, 2 Hispanics, 5 Asians, and 259 whites despite higher test scores and grades compared to the SAT scores and grades at the 25th percentile for black admittees. In addition, 3 blacks, 5 Hispanics, 8 Asians, and 344 whites were rejected with higher ACTs and GPAs. The following year, no blacks but 4 Hispanics, 4 Asians, and 253 whites were rejected with higher SAT scores and grades, as were 4 blacks, 8 Hispanics, 7 Asians, and 432 whites with higher ACT scores and grades.
In 2005, OSU rejected no Hispanics but 1 black, 1 Asian, and 9 whites with higher SAT scores and class rank and no Hispanics but 5 blacks, 3 Asians, and 92 whites with higher ACT scores and class rank compared to black admittees at the 25th percentile. In 2006, OSU rejected 3 blacks, 1 Hispanic, 1 Asian, and 52 whites with higher SAT scores and class rank, along with 10 blacks, 2 Hispanics, 5 Asians, and 270 whites with higher ACT scores and class rank.
Graduation Rates. Groups that receive admission preference also generally exhibited lower graduation rates compared to whites. At MU, the six-year graduation rate for blacks was 15 points lower; at OSU, it was 17 points lower. The Hispanic graduation rate was 4 points lower at MU and 12 points lower at OSU. The Asian graduation rate was 6 points lower at MU, but, at OSU, the Asian graduation rate was 5 points higher than for their white counterparts.
The Center for Equal Opportunity is a nonprofit research and educational organization that studies issues related to civil rights, bilingual education, and immigration and assimilation nationwide.