ON-Lion Letter
Two studies released in September by the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) in Washington, D.C., reveal severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate and law-school admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with African-Americans and Latinos given preference over whites and Asians.

The studies are based on data supplied by the schools themselves, some of which the university had refused to turn over until a lawsuit was filed by CEO and successfully taken all the way to the state supreme court.  The studies were prepared by Althea Nagai, a research fellow at CEO, and are available online.

The odds ratio favoring African-Americans and Hispanics over whites was 576-to-1 and 504-to-1, respectively, using the SAT and class rank while controlling for other factors.  Thus, the median composite SAT score for black admittees was 150 points lower than for whites and Asians, and the Latino median SAT score was 100 points lower.  Using the ACT, the odds ratios climbed to 1,330-to-1 and 1,494-to-1, respectively, for African-Americans and Hispanics over whites.

For law-school admissions, the racial discrimination found was also severe, with the weight given to ethnicity much greater than given, for example, to Wisconsin residency.  Thus, an out-of-state black applicant with grades and LSAT scores at the median for that group would have had a 7-out-of-10 chance of admission and an out-of-state Hispanic a 1-out-of-3 chance -- but an in-state Asian with those grades and scores had a 1-out-of-6 chance and an in-state white only a 1-out-of-10 chance.
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports CEO.
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