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Fewer Minorities Apply at Michigan

February 10, 2004|From Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the University of Michigan's undergraduate affirmative action policy, the number of applications from blacks, Latinos and American Indians is down 23% from last year.

The number of those admitted is down 30%.

Officials said that the figures were preliminary and that thousands more applications would continue to be reviewed in a process the school hoped to finish by the first week of April. The application deadline was Feb. 1.

"We've only accepted a fraction of the class we'll ultimately admit," said Chris Lucier, associate director of admissions.

Overall, applications for this fall's incoming freshman class were down 18%, according to the preliminary data compiled Thursday and released Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Despite the decrease in applications, the total number of students admitted so far -- nearly 8,600 -- is down only 1% from last year. The university plans to admit 12,000 to 13,000 students and hopes that will yield an enrollment of 5,545 for fall.

Last June, the high court upheld an affirmative action policy at the university's law school but struck down the university's undergraduate formula as too rigid. It awarded admission points based on race.

The University of Michigan adopted a new application that still considers race, but does not award points, and includes new short-answer questions and an optional essay. Applications were made available to students a month later than usual because of the changes, stalling the admissions process.

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