Don't ID as Asian for College

Stats for Top Medical and Law Schools on Scores and Grades by Race

The College Admissions Game JadeLuckClub Stats for Top Medical Law Schools on Scores and Ethnicity Race Jade Luck Club

The College Admissions Game JadeLuckClub Stats for Top Medical Law Schools on Scores and Ethnicity Race Jade Luck Club I believe in racial diversity at college and graduate programs but I’ve heard quite a lot of flack that admissions is not based just on scores and grades. Well,  here’s the facts: stats on grades and score parameters by race.

Highlights here:

  •  Mediocre grades for a black or Latino student is not the same impediment to getting into a good graduate or professional school as it is for a white or Asian.
  •  From a 5% admissions chance up to a 50% or better chance as the bonus for being black or Chicano — can anyone imagine that this will have no effect on many of those seeking to gain entry into the medical profession?
  • According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average college GPA in the pre-med college science courses for all whites who entered an American medical school in 2007 was 3.63, and for Asians a near-identical 3.62. For blacks, however, it was only 3.29. This is by itself a very significant difference but the spread of the black scores was much wider than that of either the whites or Asians (black SD .43, white and Asian SD each .29), indicating that significant numbers of blacks with science GPAs as low as 2.9 or 3.0 were accepted into medical schools, scores that would virtually preclude whites or Asians. Latino science GPAs were roughly halfway between those of the blacks and the higher-scoring whites and Asians (3.45 mean).
  • In 2004, a year after the Supreme Court’s Grutter decision approving Michigan Law’s racial preference program, the median LSAT score for both white and Asian admits was 169, just under the typical score earned by whites at top-rated Harvard and Yale. For black admits, however, the average score was only 160. Now a 160 is certainly a respectable LSAT score, but for a white or Asian such a score might gain an entry ticket to a middle-range law school like Boston University, the University of Washington, or Rutgers, but never to a top-ten school like Michigan.
p.s. Here’s another essay by Russell Nieli, How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites, and Lots of Others
p.p.s. For all posts on Don’t Identify as Asian When Applying to College (or Graduate School), click here.
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Selling Merit Down the River
By Russell K. Nieli

Author photo

 

 

 

7/6/09
Excerpted from pages 21 and 22

The River Pilots’ concern here may be misplaced, however, for even if black and Latino students do earn substantially lower grades than whites and Asians, they may have just as good a chance as the members of those higher-performing groups of gaining entrance to competitive graduate and professional schools. The admissions boost for being black at many of the most competitive law schools, medical schools, business schools, and graduate programs is often huge — larger even in standard deviation terms than the undergraduate college boost — and black undergraduates all know this. The post-graduate boost for being Latino is less but still substantial. Mediocre grades for a black or Latino student is not the same impediment to getting into a good graduate or professional school as it is for a white or Asian.

Consider, for example, medical schools. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average college GPA in the pre-med college science courses for all whites who entered an American medical school in 2007 was 3.63, and for Asians a near-identical 3.62. For blacks, however, it was only 3.29. This is by itself a very significant difference but the spread of the black scores was much wider than that of either the whites or Asians (black SD .43, white and Asian SD each .29), indicating that significant numbers of blacks with science GPAs as low as 2.9 or 3.0 were accepted into medical schools, scores that would virtually preclude whites or Asians. Latino science GPAs were roughly halfway between those of the blacks and the higher-scoring whites and Asians (3.45 mean).

Scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) tell a similar story. The median score on the basic science part of the MCAT for a black admitted to medicalschool in 2007 was equal to that of a white at only the 14th percentile of white admits, and of an Asian at only the 10th percentile of Asian admits. In other words, 86% of whites and 90% of Asians entering medical schools did better on the MCAT basic science section than the median black. Once again, Latino scores were roughly halfway between the blacks and the higher-scoring Asians and whites.20 This same pattern was shown in earlier studies of MCAT scores. For instance, a Rand Corporation study of admissions policies at ten medical schools in the late 1970s found a black/white gap in MCAT scores well over a standard deviation, a Chicano/white gap slightly less than one SD. The Rand study calculated that a black or Chicano applicant with a better then 50% chance of admission to these ten medical schools, had that applicant been held to the same entrance standards as whites, would have reduced his admissions chances to only about one-intwenty, or 5%.21 From a 5% admissions chance up to a 50% or better chance as the bonus for being black or Chicano — can anyone imagine that this will have no effect on many of those seeking to gain entry into the medical profession?

The law school story is similar. Consider for instance the University of Michigan Law School, one of the ten most prestigious in the nation. Like virtually all competitive law schools, Michigan places a great emphasis on the LSAT, a test of several kinds of aptitudes needed for the successful completion of a rigorous law school curriculum. Scores on the LSAT range from 120 to 180 (much like the 200 to 800 scoring system on the SAT) with the average score of those admitted to the highest ranking schools being around 170 (at the lowest ranked schools admits average around 150). In 2004, a year after the Supreme Court’s Grutter decision approving Michigan Law’s racial preference program, the median LSAT score for both white and Asian admits was 169, just under the typical score earned by whites at top-rated Harvard and Yale. For black admits, however, the average score was only 160. Now a 160 is certainly a respectable LSAT score, but for a white or Asian such a score might gain an entry ticket to a middle-range law school like Boston University, the University of Washington, or Rutgers, but never to a top-ten school like Michigan. Blacks essentially compete only with one another for entry to the nations’ top law schools, all of which practice a system of de facto race norming and (slightly flexible) quota admissions (though none of them will admit this publically). Black LSAT scores need not be, and usually are not, competitive with those of whites and Asians. Indeed, at Michigan in 2004, a 75th percentile black admit had an LSAT score (164) significantly lower than that of a 25th percentile white (167) or Asian (167) admit. Latino LSAT scores were much better than those of the blacks (mean 166) but still significantly behind the whites and Asians.

The lowering of the bar for underrepresented minorities extends to the college GPA as well. A study of Michigan Law School applicants submitted during the litigation over the Grutter case indicated that in 1995 the average GPA for white admits was 3.68, that of blacks only 3.33. Of students with college GPAs in the 3.25 to 3.45 range and LSAT scores near the 75th percentile of the national distribution, 51 whites applied to Michigan in 1995, 14 Asians, and 10 blacks. But only one of the whites in this credential range was admitted to Michigan’s elite law school that year, while none of the Asians were. Blacks had a much easier time of it: all of the blacks in this credential range were accepted though their grades and test scores would have virtually precluded them from admission were they white or Asian.23 How reasonable is it to think that knowledge of such lowered standards will not filter down to the black sophomores and juniors at various Michigan colleges who plan on attending Michigan or some other elite law school? And given the knowledge of such lowered standards, how reasonable is it to think that this will not negatively affect the behavior of many of those who know they can get into great law schools like Michigan’s without having to match the performance of their white and Asian classmates?

 

Russell K. Nieli is a lecturer in Princeton University’s politics department. Author of an important study of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, he has written numerous articles on public policy topics and edited an anthology of writings on affirmative action. Nieli graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1970, and taught at several colleges before returning to Princeton. He is the author of a paper published by the Pope Center in March 2007, “The Decline and Revival of Liberal Learning at Duke: The Focus and Gerst Programs.”

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4 Responses to “Stats for Top Medical and Law Schools on Scores and Grades by Race”

  1. On October 13, 2011 at 10:07 am PragmaticMom responded with... #

    From my LinkedIn Group Harvard University Alumni:

    These statistics only reveal part of the whole picture. Although African-American applicants may have slightly higher odds of being admitted to medical or law schools, there are a lot fewer applicants as a percentage of the total applicant pool. That in turn may explain why the score requirements for whites and Asians are slightly higher: There is a much larger applicant pool, so the scoring standard for that pool has to be more selective in order to achieve a diverse student body. And as you say, you believe in racial diversity at college and graduate programs, right?

    Posted by Gordon

  2. On October 13, 2011 at 10:10 am PragmaticMom responded with... #

    I do believe in racial diversity but I think it should be achieved by revamping Affirmative Action from race based to socio economic based. This will still help out people of color but will be more inclusive and truly help the right segment of society.An affluent person of color is not necessarily in need of a boost.

  3. On December 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

    admin

    responded with... #

    Harvard, and other private schools, should be able to admit whomever they choose, without government interference. These are simply not matters for government to decide.

    Posted by Jonathan L.

    From my LinkedIn Group Harvard University Alumni

  4. On December 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    admin

    responded with... #

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/education/us-urges-campus-creativity-to-gain-diversity.html?ref=us

    Posted by John Anthony

    From my LinkedIn Group Harvard University Alumni

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