Restructuring Higher Education Opportunity?: African American Degree Attainment after Michigan's Ban on Affirmative Action
11 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 30, 2013
This policy brief analyzes the impact of Proposal 2, the voter initiative in Michigan that prohibited race-conscious affirmative action, in the higher education arena. The report primarily (but not exclusively) focuses on African Americans and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. After Proposal 2 African American degree attainment plummeted at professional schools including medicine and law, which threatens the health and civic leadership of communities. Doctoral degree (including STEM fields), Master’s degree and bachelor’s degree attainment levels also declined considerably for African Americans after Proposal 2. The final section reviews freshmen graduation rates – including comparisons of many institutions in Michigan and beyond, plus a synthesis of the scholarly literature – and confirms that affirmative action has a net positive impact on African Americans and Latinos earning bachelor’s degrees, contrary to the claims of the Petitioner in the Schuette Supreme Court case.
Keywords: Affirmative Action, Michigan, Schuette Proposal 2, impact, higher education, African American, medicine, law, undergraduate degrees, STEM, graduation rates
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