College demographics

Jan 23 2013 Published by under Academics, Diversity in Science

From the Atlantic:


Yes, yes, well I'm sure this is all because the pipeline is bad and we all know the blacks just aren't very smart...

because after all...

huh. waitaminnit....something is odd.....

OMMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Something must be DONE!!!!

ok, ok, before anyone gets too funny, it's already been done in the comments

A_Lee • 9 hours ago
It would be interesting to see Jews broken-out as their own racial category, as they were the previous target of soft-quotas. What is their relative level of representation?

49 responses so far

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    I reckon that even with significant tuition hikes in recent years UC Berkeley draws more heavily from California than the rest of the U.S., and it's worth noting that the percentage of the population of California that is white is significantly lower than for the U.S. as a whole. Not to say the numbers at Berkeley match the demographics in California perfectly, but it's closer.

    Also ... are the folks who are going to take these numbers as clear evidence that white students are not getting a fair shake in higher education going to put their shoulders into the task of making the business world and government more representative of the actual demographics of the nation?

  • bashir says:

    What I'd be interested in, which probably doesn't exist, is data on what proportion of the black students are 1rst or 2nd generation immigrants. I have heard (and seen) that it is much higher than the general population.

    Since some one will certainly bring it up, I'd like to see something like proportion of legacies, or what may be even more jarring, proportion who both parents attended a similar school. If you're at Princeton and both your parents went to Yale, you're basically a legacy.

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    OK, some data on California and UC Berkeley.

    Berkeley undergrad demographics first:

    82% are in-state (i.e., from California), 9% from out of state, 9% international. From the looks of it, international students aren't included in their race/ethnicity breakdown.

    African American / Black 4%
    American Indian / Alaskan Native 1%
    Asian / Pacific Islander 43%
    Hispanic 13%
    White 33% [they're not explicit here, but they clearly mean non-Hispanic white here]
    Race/Ethnicity Unknown 6%

    Now compare, demographics of the State of California:

    White 74%
    Black 6.6%
    American Indian / Alaskan Native 1.7%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.5%
    Asian 13.6%
    Persons reporting two or more races 3.6%
    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin [of any race] 38.1%
    Non-Hispanic White 39.7%

    There's surely an interesting discussion to be had here about why the Berkeley undergrad demographics depart where they do from the demographics of the state, but it doesn't look like the relative proportion of non-Hispanic White people in these two populations is the gap that necessarily calls for the most rigorous investigation.

  • Where's the separate breakdown of rednecks?

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    Why you got to hate, CPP?

  • Alex says:

    Where's the separate breakdown of rednecks?

    They're all at UC Riverside and Cal State schools.

  • Chris says:

    UC Irvine is not Berkeley, but it does have a few more Hispanics and a lot more Asians

    Race / ethnicity
    Asian 10,802 49%
    White 4,432 20%
    Hispanic 3,949 18%
    Black or African-American 426 2%
    Two or more races 611 3%
    Non-resident alien 794 4%
    Race / ethnicity unknown 919 4%

    93% of the kids are from California.

  • "White 4,432 20%"

    What percent are inbred redneck jeezus freaks?

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    UC Irvine is not Berkeley

    There might even be a NorCal/SoCal level of granularity we need to consider to grok what's going on here.

    Also, I have not noticed a disproportionate number of "rednecks" at my university (which is part of the Cal State system). I don't know from Riverside.

  • Alex says:

    Perhaps I was joking?

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    It is almost impossible for Cal State faculty to tell when someone is joking about the rifts between UC and Cal State.

    Unless you include a rimshot. We get those. (I don't know if Riverside faculty do, though ...)

  • Alex says:

    I'm also a Cal State faculty member. (And UC alum.)

    But, yeah, my colleagues are often thumping their chests about how we teach the most beaten and down-trodden and disadvantaged in the world. So I can see how somebody might think I'm serious when I joke that the CSU is full of rednecks. (It actually isn't, but on my campus we do get a certain number of students from inland areas with cultures that aren't necessarily Left Coast stereotypes.)

  • DrugMonkey says:

    What "rifts"? Is this like Sharks/Jets action?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    That is an interesting way of not saying redneck, Alex.

    Say what ever became of that push from the self-important UCs to close UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz?

  • Alex says:

    Well, the reason I didn't say rednecks is that they aren't "rednecks" in the sense of the more common (and demeaning) stereotypes. They are, however, white, generally from lower income backgrounds, their accents are a bit different from the coastal kids, and their home towns are (usually) a bit more conservative (in multiple senses) than some of the coastal areas. You can see the imprint of history and many waves of migration and many tumults if you just compare the kids from different parts of our region. It's kind of fascinating.

    As to the "rift", because we are non-elite some of my colleagues will not shut up about "You know, we're not a UC..." It's their explanation for literally anything and everything. It's quite bizarre.

  • Newsweek (RIP; and no, web presence isn't real life) was way ahead of you. In 1971 they recognized that Asians were the "new Jews".

  • @DM
    I think the banana slugs did them in. I do wonder if UCSD (which was one of the self important ones) didn't do themselves a bad turn. Rather like with toasting the German kommandant during occupation, the non-collaborators have long memories.

  • AmasianV says:

    What are the racial demographics of the applicants for these schools? Is that data available anywhere?

  • AmasianV says:

    Based on the demographics of UC Berkely and CA that Janet provided, looks like UC Berkeley is "keeping pace" to maintain the 3-fold overrep of Asians seen at the other schools.

  • Genomic Repairman says:

    So based on these averages and stereotypes, Berkeley must have a higher rate of traffic accidents than the national norm in any other college town.

  • Ola says:

    Coupla' thoughts...

    1) This has everything to do with ABILITY TO PAY. Quite simply, little whiter-than-white white-boy's New England education with financial aid is being subsidized by the Chinese 1 percenters with rich parents who can pay full fees. Every University is doing it to close budget gaps. Get used to it.

    2) The only reason the black #s are where they are (and not much much lower), is affirmative action. If the supreme court overturns AA (and there is every indication they will), Universities will be forced to accept students in ratio with their applications, and in the NorthEast that means a lot less black folks applying because they make up a smaller portion of the college age/eligible population (versus some other parts of the country). That means everyone is going to be recruiting the sh!t out of black folks in the next few years, because the only way to maintain a 6% black student body and market yourself as a "diverse" institution, is to have 6% black applicants. Look out deep south and desert southwest, the ivies are coming for your children!

    3) There are some deep cultural issues associated with point #1 above. These students are often not "representative" of Asian populations in general - we're not sampling the best and the brightest of Asia, but rather the richest of Asia (and yes I'll grant you there is significant overlap). When your student body tends to be composed of privileged individuals, campus culture can be affected in some quite odd ways - think the number of parking spaces students demand, the predominantly arrogant attitude associated with excessive wealth, the questioning of authority, the standards demanded in housing/food/internet speed etc. A lot of colleges (mine included) are beginning to realize that the dash for Asian cash is not as easy as it seems, because these new customers are VERY demanding (compared to little whitey white-kid who's just happy to be there on a full scholarship and will put up with a shitty dorm room).

  • Janet D. Stemwedel says:

    Note that the demographic data from universities only covers students from the U.S., not international students.

    So, while it may well be that the richest families from China (for example), paying full-fare international student tuition (which is a lot, AFAICT), are helping keep university budgets afloat, they are not contributing to the apparent overrepresentation of Asian students in the above data and figures.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Ola- What makes you think the Ivies won't heave a collective sigh of relief that the SCOTUS has relieved them of their burden to admit any of the tanner folk?

  • AmasianV says:

    @Ola, so....from where are the black students now that attend NE schools?

  • Ola says:

    @DM "What makes you think the Ivies won't heave a collective sigh of relief that the SCOTUS has relieved them of their burden to admit any of the tanner folk?"

    It depends on the college. For the smaller ones, a big part of their pitch is diversity. Often well-edumacated mommy and daddy like the idea of little Timmy going to school with people of different color, due to the belief that this will make little Timmy a more "well rounded" citizen. For the liberal arts set, this is a big selling point.

  • crystaldoc says:

    Coupla' [different] thoughts...

    I postdoc'd @ UCB, and as far as I could tell the undergrads in the Mol Cell Biol dept were ~80% Asian. My own undergrad minions (6 of 6) were 100% Asian. As far as I could tell, each of them were there because (1) they were brilliant, (2) they worked very hard, and (3) they were 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants with parents who took an *extreme* interest in their academic success. When I look at the racial composition of my current institution and on occasion succumb to stereotypical thinking, I seriously bemoan the underrepresentation of Asians in the quadrant of the country where I now reside.

  • Eli Rabett says:

    Gee, what happened in 1997 in California,. (Takes four years to graduate:).

  • WTFunds says:

    So from my stupid white privileged experience, I'm so confused. I'm going to be nakedly honest/stereotypical, mainly bc it's the fastest way to really find some semblance of truth on this subject. I grew up loving black culture. I grew to admire the Asian work ethic and family commitment to education. I also believe in open borders and think if anyone today needs a "leg up" it is the immediate defendants of first-generation Latin Americans. I love my Polish-Irish background, but I certainly also admired the best in many cultures. When I was a junior at Boston Latin - a school not unfamiliar with racial quotas/diversity- I found myself ineligible for most higher ed freebies. The FAFSA was a joke. My parents, who had a combined income of $50000 and three dependents, made me "too wealthy" for federal support - even though the most they could do for my education was co-sign loans. Guess my dad shouldn't have worked that second job....

    My long story short is, for all the admiration I still retain for different cultures - and how I think ethnic diversity is a national strength - I harbor resentment for the way in which the sprint for diversity has left a lot of middle class whites completely out in the cold in terms of access of assistance for higher education. Historical inequities being remedied? Guess so. But after 50 years of AA, important attempts to create an appropriate cohort of role models/mentors/etc, I personally am left resentful/conflicted. It's not the culture or race that I dislike, it's the manufacturing of a perpetual list of reasons to ensure diversity for diversity's sake. The easy answer for some might be: boo hoo. But after many years post-undergrad and grad school, I can tell you I'm not the only conflicted whitey. I mean, I even own a Brian Scalabrine jersey for Christ's sake. Are we in post-racial America yet? Please?

  • drugmonkey says:

    boo hoo hoo, dude

  • WTFunds says:

    Exactly. Fuck me.

    But I'm waiting on my NSF ADVANCE decision, so I guess I'm not a total asshole. Give it time though.

  • drugmonkey says:

    and btw, it is not "conflicted whitey" it is "good old run of the mill selfish-whitey". as in "that diversity shit is all well and good....right up until I suspect it might actually interfere with the privilege that I've come to expect and enjoy...and oh btw, the economy sucks ass and so the relative value of privilege isn't kicking me far enough down the road so...yeah, I'm 'conflicted'".

    as I said, boo hooo hoo for any and all of us that are only in favor of fine principles as long as they don't seem to hurt ourselves too badly.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Historical inequities being remedied?

    to be slightly more constructive, this is wrong. Affirmative action is not about "historical" inequity and this is a tired dodge/complaint of those who are against it. Affirmative action is to remedy current inequity. Which may, or may not, be because of historical events, of course.

    This doesn't mean, however, that current inequity is equal to individual inequity...read on.

    it's the manufacturing of a perpetual list of reasons to ensure diversity for diversity's sake.

    I am not entirely sure what you mean here but I perhaps agree with you. I'm not a big fan of having to have a bunch of high school debate team style discussions when the issue to me is so much more general. By getting down into specific reasons you leave the opportunity for the antagonists to "prove" you wrong with anecdotal evidence. Your diatribe makes it sound like you are familiar with one of these, i.e., the pitting of the alleged upper class black kid who got a full ride against the lower middle class white kid who didn't.

    This only works in the discussion in which AA fans have allowed themselves to get backed off diversity for diversity's sake (a population goal) and into the "inequity" issue j(as if it is about individual fairness). So yeah, not a fan of the tactics involved with a perpetual list of specific reasons why affirmative action is good.

  • Shorter WTFunds: "I used to like my Negro friends, but they got too uppity".

  • whimple says:

    PP: Shorter WTFunds: "I used to like my Negro friends, but they got too uppity".

    How many points worth of bonus on the R01 payline should our diversity-enabling friends get then?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Whatever it takes to restore equity. Just like they did with ESI applications.

  • WTFunds says:

    DM - thanks for the constructive response.

    To your first reply, it actually has nothing to do with my white boy personal privilege being threatened - either economically or socioeconomically. LOLs.  I actually had none of this.  Hashtag joke! #cantlosewhatyouneverhad.  I grew up in a low-income, very diverse/predominantly black neighborhood in Boston.  My family had no means to support my higher Ed.  I felt like an anonymous whitey applying for undergrad, and for the most part I was.  I did find one Polish scholarship though, and a $500 caddying scholarship (this still may be the most random thing I've seen in my life - thanks Francis Oimet for winning the US Open in 1925 or whenever).

  • WTFunds says:

    Whimple - "of course I reach out to those poor negros. I'm pretty sure they think I'm cool."

  • whimple says:

    DM: Whatever it takes to restore equity.

    For implementation, "whatever it takes" needs to be interpreted into real numbers. How many points do you think "whatever it takes" is today?

  • WTFunds says:

    "I am not entirely sure what you mean here but I perhaps agree with you. I'm not a big fan of having to have a bunch of high school debate team style discussions when the issue to me is so much more general. By getting down into specific reasons you leave the opportunity for the antagonists to "prove" you wrong with anecdotal evidence."

    Translation: "Don't give me specifics. My general notion, which is informed from talking to other guilty-conscious privileged whites, is that those poor blacks never had a chance. I don't want to hear anything else. I'm going to do all I can - with the exception of donations, actual community service, you know, actually talking with those poor black folk - to make sure their "inequity" is remedied. Then I'll be that cool white guy that has black friends. Again, no specifics; I've cornered the market on moral superiority without the actual sanction of the group I crusade for. If you disagree, you're obviously a racist."

  • DrugMonkey says:

    You mistake me. I care not for the individual. Fix the appearance by any way necessary and you have a more sustained effect on the reality long term.

    Whimple- what you want is a simple data mining exercise in the CSR data banks. Pointless for those of us without access to pick a number. Do you agree with the outcome approach or not? Are you trying to find a way to evade it?

  • whimple says:

    Do you agree with the outcome approach or not? Are you trying to find a way to evade it?

    No, in this specific case (diversity), I do not agree with the outcome approach. It's like trying to make up for a building with a weak foundation by taking extra effort to make sure the 10th floor is really nice. It has the thin veneer of "doing anything is better than doing nothing" while totally avoiding doing anything about the root causes.

  • DeepThought says:

    Sorry, DM, you can't have it both ways. You can't uphold AA as a remedy for current inequity and then duck the issue of whether it is really fair or not as it is currently implemented. Why don't we have AA for poor whites? (And don't tell me how "privileged" they are.) Is it fair they should be denied opportunities just on the basis of what their parents did for a living? Of course I know you don't want to go here, because you don't really give a flying fuck about poor whites, so you'll go on and on about diversity for diversity's sake. Fine, how about diversity in other ways besides race?

    As for you, CPP, a big hearty fuck you. You're a racist, classist asshole, stereotyping poor whites as "rednecks" and "jesus freaks". Take a good look in the mirror before you start criticizing everyone ELSE for racism, you hypocritical bastard.

    As for AA in NIH paylines, I'll get on board with that for blacks as soon as you get on board with ensuring a disproportionate amount of funding doesn't go to institutions on the coasts. Clearly there's a need for AA for those of us in "flyover country". Yes? Or is it only a certain kind of diversity that counts (e.g. one that makes well-educated and well-off liberals feel good about themselves, without too much personal sacrifice).

  • drugmonkey says:

    why not? people of color are underrepresented, whites are not. this is a population level (i.e., all of the US) goal. for me it is about sustained fairness for all, not the microcosm of fairness to any particular individual.

    because you don't really give a flying fuck about poor whites, .....how about diversity in other ways besides race?

    poor whites are certainly not the main concern I choose to address on this blog. yes, diversity in "other ways" is most assuredly a concern of mine. Whether I blog about it or not is poor evidence. What I make *very* clear, however, is that I am entirely unimpressed by those who wish to use the alleged plight of poor whites (vs ??) as a way to derail and dismiss the situation with underrepresented minorities from racial and ethnic classifications. Closing in on one hundred percent of those that bang on about the alleged plight of poor whites are in fact trying to pull down affirmative action for racial and ethnic minorities. So yeah, I'm not too sympathetic to that shit.

    I'll get on board with that for blacks as soon as you get on board with ensuring a disproportionate amount of funding doesn't go to institutions on the coasts. Clearly there's a need for AA for those of us in "flyover country".

    The NIH does in fact run a big affirmative action program for noncoastal research institutions and universities. and for non-huge Universities and even colleges. As it happens, I am in agreement with it. Enthusiastically so. Would you care to share how you assess what would be proportional funding to noncoastal Universities and how you've concluded there is current disparity, if this is what you are saying?

  • Dr24hours says:

    As a member of AA, I can tell you, all are welcome regardless of race, creed, or anything else. You just need a desire to stop drinking. 😉

  • Spiny Norman says:

    So far as I can tell, folks at the many good institutions in flyover country (e.g.: Iowa, WUSTL, OSU, UIUC, UTSW, U-AZ, U Utah, UTSW, U Michigan, U Wisonsin, etc., etc.) aren't hurting any more for NIH support than folks at equivalent places on the coasts.

    Perhaps DT is advocating for AA for the bastions of mediocrity in flyover country?

  • tideliar says:

    Wait...they're getting rid of AA? Motherfucker...I finally get a fucken black baby and I STILL get fucked with tuition. Godamn. There's no justice!

    Then again, if you don't look at me or his mom he could pass for Mexican, or 2nd gen West Asian. Might be OK...

  • dsks says:

    "Affirmative action is not about "historical" inequity and this is a tired dodge/complaint of those who are against it. Affirmative action is to remedy current inequity. "

    Bingo.

    And yeah, I might have more sympathy for the "What about wealth inequity" line if it didn't bear the stench of an argument to derail the conversation.

    As it is, and as I'm learning right now as I write my "Hey, I got women and black people in my lab! Slap me on my progressive back and gimme some bucks!" section of an NSF grant, a large fraction of beneficiaries of affirmative action right now are white dude PIs anyway. So there isn't much to complain about from us, I don't reckon.

  • Alex says:

    As it is, and as I'm learning right now as I write my "Hey, I got women and black people in my lab! Slap me on my progressive back and gimme some bucks!" section of an NSF grant, a large fraction of beneficiaries of affirmative action right now are white dude PIs anyway.

    True. Very true.

    It's also worth noting that the white dudes who offer the most pious statements on diversity are not always the white dudes who have the best track record in mentoring women and minorities. But it isn't about having a better track record than anybody else, it's about selling the track record that you have.

  • Fucke those redneck jeezus freaks in flyover country. If it weren't for them, this country would be a much better place.

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