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ERIC Number: ED531724
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 50
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
Assessing a New Approach to Class-Based Affirmative Action
Gaertner, Matthew N.
Association for Institutional Research (NJ1), Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (51st, Toronto, Ontario, May 21-25, 2011)
In November, 2008, Colorado and Nebraska voted on amendments that sought to end race-based affirmative action at public universities. In anticipation of the vote, Colorado's flagship public institution--The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU)--explored statistical approaches to support class-based affirmative action. This paper details CU's method of identifying disadvantaged and overachieving applicants in undergraduate admissions. Particular attention is devoted to the impact of putting this system into practice. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of implementing class-conscious admissions on the racial and socioeconomic diversity of accepted classes. In addition, historical data were examined to gauge the likelihood of college success for the beneficiaries of class-based affirmative action. Experimental results suggest low-income and minority students are more likely to be admitted to CU when class-conscious admissions criteria are used. Analyses of historical data suggest collegiate success for those admitted under class-based affirmative action is possible, although certainly not guaranteed. Such findings argue for the provision of robust academic support to these low-income, marginally qualified students once they arrive on campus. Appended are: (1) Visual Representation of the Disadvantage Index; (2) Visual Representation of the Overachievement Index (SAT); and (3) Parameter Estimates and Model Fit Statistics for the Disadvantage and Overachievement Indices. (Contains 5 tables and 7 footnotes.)
Association for Institutional Research. 1435 East Piedmont Drive Suite 211, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Tel: 850-385-4155; Fax: 850-383-5180; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Nebraska