Does Diversity improve your School's UC Acceptance Rate?

A few weeks ago, I created a list of the most diverse schools in Los Angeles. Of the top twenty schools, only two were high schools: Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) and Granada Hills Charter High School. Around the same time, I also calculated the UC acceptance rates for LA High schools. LACES was tied for the highest acceptance rate, and Granada Hills was in the top 25.

It almost seemed like their diversity might be helping their UC acceptance rate. Upon closer inspection, however, the data is much more complicated. Let’s start by thinking about whether the different ethnic groups are even applying at the same rates. Below I have analyzed the percent of each group that applies to UCs.

I found this a bit surprising and a bit uplifting. At both schools, African American students are clearly being encouraged to apply to UCs, and they apply at the highest rates for both schools. A little distressing is how few Latinos apply. And we shouldn’t be surprised when the acceptance data reflects the applications:

Latino students have the lowest percent of seniors students accepted at both schools. Meanwhile, African American students are getting accepted at the similar or higher rates than their white peers. Asian students are also accepted at the highest rates that both schools – at LACES at a rate of 59% which is 20% higher than the school’s overall acceptance rate.

I think this data show that the schools are making strides toward equity, but still have a ways to go. While they both seem to be actively encouraging African American students to apply, and they have narrowed the achievement gap there (a very impressive feat), a gap remains with their Latino populations. 

Diversity alone does not support your school’s success rate – it takes active work by the school staff to make sure that applications are equitable, so that acceptances can be too.

4 Replies to “Does Diversity improve your School's UC Acceptance Rate?”

  1. What is the demographics distribution; how many are there in each group in absolute terms?
    More, there’s no way these subpopulations at Granada are going to be similar to those at LACES in ways important to acceptance (SES, e.g.)
    I agree it’s interesting and I agree it’s complicated, but these differences need a lot more scrutinizing. Why are Asian acceptances so different? If kids aren’t applying to UCs where are they applying? Why isn’t everyone applying to UCs?
    Thanks for these little drill-holes; I’m enjoying your blog!

    1. School Data Nerd says:

      These are good questions. I only chose these two because they had similar ethnic demographics, not similar SES – so that is definitely something to consider. I agree more information is needed. A lot of information, though, is simply not available publicly.

  2. I agree these schools are seemingly nominally similar demographically. But as you point out, ethnicity is not SES. I think the groups are probably different in important ways.

    I think these data come straight from the new state caassp database or whatever it’s called…LAT should really source these data better….

    For one thing, GHCHS is 2.5x the size of LACES; there are 3.4x the number of af-ams at the expense of latinos. Moreover, I strongly suspect the performance indicators on those subpopulations are decidedly different between the schools. The SES demographics of these schools will be markedly different by subgroup I suspect.

    Anyway, again as you say: complicated. I wouldn’t trust for a moment that these statistics have even been collected in comparable ways…this stuff matters. Nominal similarities ust aren’t.

    1. School Data Nerd says:

      Ok now that you are repeating youraelf, I don’t think you get the point of the post. You are reading it like I’m saying one school is better than the other. I am saying that diversity on its own is not a solution – there are other factors. Size being one of them. Also, what does that mean that ether statistics have been collected in comparable ways? Finally, No this does not come from the caaspp database, if you read the post it is clearly about uc acceptances. I’m beginning to think you didn’t read what I said….

Comments are closed.