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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Declining Use of Race in College Admissions Decisions

  • Author(s): Grodsky, Eric
  • Kalogrides, Demetra
  • et al.

Using eighteen years of data from more than 1,300 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, we investigate the extent to which institutional characteristics and contextual factors influence the propensity of colleges to indicate that they consider race/ethnicity in their admissions decisions. Consideration of race/ethnicity in admissions declined sharply after the mid-1990s, especially at public institutions. Rather than being shaped by specific historical and political contexts, consideration of race/ethnicity in admissions appears to be a widely institutionalized practice in higher education that has been tempered by changes in the policy environment over time.

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