Skip to content Dropping affirmative action had huge impact on California’s public universities

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Credit: Alison Yin/EdSourceCredit: Alison Yin/EdSourceCalifornia’s 24-year ban on affirmative action has had a staggering impact on underrepresented students seeking admission to the state’s public universities.

Since 1997, the last year before the affirmative action ban took effect, the number of California high school graduates statewide grew 63%.

The effects of Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action, also extends to the racial and ethnic makeup of state university faculty who do not come close to reflecting California’s ethnic diversity.

At CSU, Asians in 2018 were close to their share of high school graduates: 17% enrolled compared to 14% high school graduates.

For example, the high school students who graduated after the 2018-19 school year were compared to the Fall 2019 freshman class.

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