I suppose it’s somewhat symbolic that Michigan rolled out their new undergraduate admissions policy on the 40th anniversary of March on Washington. Based on what I’ve read so far, it looks like the policy is being modeled after the law school program which the US Supreme Court upheld. I’m sure some will think it doesn’t go far enough, but I’m proud of the fact that Michigan has responded in a timely fashion with a plan that will ensure adequate representation of qualified minority students. More importantly, that Michigan continues to be at the forefront of the whole diversity issue. Education truly is the great equalizer.
University of Michigan Unveils Admission Policy
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Filed at 5:37 p.m. ET
The new undergraduate policy was modeled in part on the less-rigid law school policy, which tries to ensure that minorities make up 10 percent to 12 percent of each class.
Undergraduate applicants will now be asked to give more information about their socio-economic status and give a short answer explaining their thoughts about diversity. There will be also be other short-answer questions and an optional essay that will allow students to tell more about their background and expected contributions to campus.
While race will continue to be a factor, “how much it matters in any individual file will be determined by that file,” Courant said.
The school expects to spend $1.5 million to $2 million on the new policy in the coming academic year because of the additional staff needed to read the essays, along with the necessary training and technology, Courant said.
The new application will be used for freshmen entering in 2004. It also will be in effect for a small number of transfer students applying this fall, spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.
Part-time readers and admissions counselors will separately review each application and make recommendations about whether to admit. The two recommendations will be given to a manager, who will make a final decision. A committee will review any disagreements.