9 States Have Banned Affirmative Action. Here’s What That Looks Like.

“Black enrollment fell rapidly at the top schools in the University of California system. Before the ban, Black students made up 7% of the student body at UCLA. By 1998, that figure had slipped to 3.93%. By the fall of 2006, the freshman class included only 96 Black students out of nearly 5,000.
In an effort to address that gap, officials in California have spent more than $500 million in outreach to underserved minority students since 2004, lawyers for the state said in a Supreme Court brief this year.

A similar decline took place at the University of Michigan. Black undergraduate enrollment dropped to 4% in 2021 from 7% in 2006, the year the state approved a referendum banning affirmative action.

Even though a Supreme Court ruling restricting the use of race-conscious admissions is unlikely to affect their states, lawyers for Michigan and California filed briefs with the court over the summer arguing that without affirmative action, achieving racial diversity was virtually impossible.

Florida, which banned affirmative action in 2001 and where admission to the state’s flagship university is also competitive, has taken the opposite position: Racial diversity can be achieved without race-conscious admissions, it said.

A study in 2012 by liberal-leaning research group the Century Foundation found that in most states where affirmative action was prohibited, Hispanic and Black enrollment at flagship universities bounced back after an initial drop.

But the study also showed that those increases did not generally keep pace with the growing number of Hispanic and Black high school graduates.”