Michigan voters don't want public universities to treat applicants differently based on sex, race or national origin. The Supreme Court, in the ruling Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, said last week that's just fine. But without affirmative action, Michigan's public universities could become as segregated as its public schools.
Nationally, white college applicants with high grades and test scores greatly outnumber similarly qualified African-American and Hispanic student applicants. At the same time, minority students are overrepresented in public community colleges, which are open to everyone, and underrepresented at the most selective U.S. universities, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce.
One reason for this split is that minority students are more likely to grow up clustered together in high-poverty neighborhoods.