Minority losses at universities since Florida ended affirmative action

by E Wayne Ross on April 13, 2010

Orlando Sentinel: 10 years in, ‘One Florida’ posts mixed results for minorities at universities

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush pushed plan as ‘race-neutral’ replacement for affirmative action

Ten years after Florida banned affirmative-action admissions, minority enrollment in the State University System hasn’t kept pace with the number of minorities graduating from high school, an Orlando Sentinel analysis has found.

In 1999, a bit more than 20 percent of the state’s high-school graduates were black, as were 17.5 percent of university freshmen. By 2008, the last year for which a racial breakdown is available, blacks accounted for 19.5 percent of high-school graduates — but only 14.9 percent of university freshmen.

Similarly, in 1999, Hispanics made up 14.7 percent of high-school graduates and 13.8 percent of university freshmen. By 2008, Hispanics were 21.4 percent of graduates and 19.1 percent of the freshmen class, a wider gap.

By contrast, white and Asian students were overrepresented among college freshmen in 1999 — and still were in 2008, according to the Sentinel’s analysis. For example, white students comprised roughly 60 percent of high-school graduates and university freshmen in 1999; by 2008, they were 54 percent of high-school graduates — and 58 percent of university freshmen.