California Governor Gray Davis (Dem.) announced a new proposal which would require the University of California to admit the top 4% of students who have completed college preparatory courses at all CA high schools. In addition to benefitting students at largely-minority and inner city high schools, the new policy would also benefit students in poorer or rural areas, who are also under-represented at UC.
Davis' proposal was designed to off-set the huge declines in minority enrollment caused by state affirmative action bans including Proposition 209, which passed in 1996. UC spokesperson Charles McFadden said of Davis' proposal, "We believe that it will result in a student body that is more representative of the state's diverse population without sacrificing academic excellence."
Critics charge that the new proposal will make little change unless additional financial aid is offered to the most needy students.