Because of state law, the University of Michigan did not consider race in its admissions decisions during the admissions cycle for the class that entered this fall. That law has been ruled unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court but that ruling is being appealed.
The ban on race sensitive admissions, which was passed by voters in 2006, appears to have had a major impact on black enrollments at the University of Michigan. In 2005, the year before the voter referendum in Michigan which banned affirmative action, officials figures show that blacks made up 7.2 percent of the freshman class at the University of Michigan. In 2008, the year when the ban on race-sensitive admissions was in effect for all applications, black make up 6.8 percent of the incoming class.
This fall, blacks are 4.8 percent of the entering class. But the numbers may not be as bad as they appear. New federal guidelines allow applicants to identify with more than one racial or ethnic group. There are 80 incoming students who self-identify themselves as from two minority groups. They make up 1.3 percent of the entering class. And almost 10 percent of incoming students declined to identify their racial or ethnic background to admission officials. This is 10 times the amount who declined to provide data in 2010.
For the entire University of Michigan student body, the number of blacks students has dropped from 2,374 in 2007 to 1,775 this year. But in 2007 there were no students classified as being from two or more underrepresented minority groups. This year there are 602.