Black Students Making Significant Progress in Eligibility for California State Universities

A new report by Research Triangle International finds that Black high schools students have made tremendous progress in qualifying for admissions to the California State University System and the University of California System. Under the state’s master plan for higher education, the top 12.5 percent of all high school students qualify for admission to the University of California System and the top 33 percent of the state’s high school students are eligible for admission to the California State University System.

The report found that the percentage of all high school graduates qualifying for California State University admission has increased from 29.6 percent in 1996 to a record high of 40.8 percent in 2015. The percentage of Black students who qualified for admission to CalState schools more than doubled during the period. In 2007, the eligibility gap between White and Black students was 13.1 percent. But by 2015 it had declined to 9.8 percent. In 1996, only 13 percent of all Black high school students in California qualified for admission to the California State University System. In 2015, the rate was 30 percent.

In the University of California System, the eligibility gap between White and Black students dropped from 8.3 percentage points in 2007 to 5.4 points in 2015. In 1996, only 2.8 percent of all Black high school students in California qualified for admission to the University of California System. In 2015, the rate was 6.5 percent.

Of course, qualifying for either state university system does not guarantee admission to a particular campus. Students must compete for places at these schools. And due to state law, race cannot be taken into consideration in admissions decisions at all public colleges and universities in California.

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