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Posted on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

Minorities underrepresented at University of Michigan

By Kellie Woodhouse


University of Michigan

Joe Tobianski |

The percentage of blacks and hispanics that make up the University of Michigan student body is below the national racial composition average, The Atlantic reports.

At U-M in 2010, less than 5 percent of students were reported as black and less than 5 percent were reported as hispanic. Yet more than 13 percent of the United States' population was black and more than 16 was hispanic, according to the Atlantic.

In fact, when compared with Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities and the University of California at Berkley and the University of Texas, Michigan has consistently enrolled the lowest percentage of hispanics since 1980, according to the Atlantic.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

"... less than 5 percent... " wroing .. FEWER than 5 percent ... /sheesh! those students are not "lesser" tha the other 95%.

John Hritz

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

At this point, I'd think economic class is the thing to watch instead of race. I'd be more interested in a set of graphs that show the mix of economic statuses that attend major universities. Theoretically, financial aid is available to all scholars based on need, but it would be an interesting exercise to confirm that is the case and make adjustments on that basis. The other graph of interest is one that shows state, US and international student make-up. This report covers some of those issues:


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

How about we ask instead "how are the minorities that were admitted performing?" It doesn't do much good to admit them if they're not ready or simply not able to compete with UofM peers.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Stop compartmentalizing people and we'd all be a lot better for it.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Latino and Hispanic are not synonymous. ( Hispanic and Latino are terms used to define regions of origin and not a person's race. (

Clay Moore

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Are we to conclude that in spite of thumb on the scale, unofficial affirmative action, that black and hispanic admissions have declined? Liberal myopia prevents UM academia from acknowledging the obvious. There are any number of conclusions various people could draw from the data -- the under-representation of blacks is, of course, obvious. But of greater concern some might say the flattening out of Asians suggests an unofficial quota system. When you artificially suppress admissions of the best and the brightest in favor of the average and marginal you devalue the reputation of the institution.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

As an FYI, Asians aren't considered underrepresented minorities by U-M college admissions. Here's a look at this year's U-M student body: Overall, there are 2,207 blacks, 1,785 latinos, 442 Native Americans and 81 Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders enrolled. At 5,689 students, Asian Americans, who are not considered underrepresented, make up 13.1 percent of the school's total student body. This year 13.5 percent of the student body —5,881 students— are considered international, an increase of roughly five percent from last year. Read more in an article put together last fall:


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

Sooo....they are "overrepresented"?

Ben Freed

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

I think that for me, the most interesting thing in the graphs is that Michigan is the only school in the survey that is "more white" than the national average. The school also has a positive trend line for white enrollment and a sharply negative line for Black enrollment... Also, I think that many commenters' points that state's disparities in ethnic minorities play a role is well taken. Texas obviously has far more hispanics in the state and therefore enrolls more. However, when looking at trend lines, that rate is accelerating at certain schools more than others. Disclaimer: I graduated from the University of Texas.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Does that mean that U-M is emphasizing academic ability? Tell me it isn't so! I want quotas so unqualified people can attend.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

I played golf in California last week and it 84 degrees, t-shirt and shorts and drove on hwy 101 with the top down. I can't wait to get back to wear my thermals and hats.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

I believe the football team doesn't have a racial balance that is representative of the population either. How can we go about improving Asians and white kids football skills so they can make it on the team?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

So?? Its cold here too...that doesn't always Attract everyone. And whomever wrote this has CLEARLY never attended a graduate level engineering class.....

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:38 a.m.

Misleading headline. Some minorities are actually overrepresented. And if that is the case then you would have to cap them in order to to achieve your utopian standard of equality where every ethnic group is enrolled according to their percentage of the overall population. Of course we never talk about that issue. That's not politically correct. "Michigan has consistently enrolled the lowest percentage of Hispanics since 1980, according to the Atlantic." My answer is SO WHAT. It is still more Hispanics than actually LIVE in Michigan. See how that works? Applying a national number to a state is really an apples and oranges comparison; while pretending that anything less than a 16% Hispanic student population is discrimination... is stupid. Oh, and the 16 percent Hispanic number HAS TO include illegal aliens. So we are also underrepresenting illegals... oh the tragedy of that... [cry/sniffle]. If you look at many of the (so called) best schools in the country (Ivy League) you will find it is Whites that are underrepresented to their percentage of the population. Where are newspaper stories about that? The usual selective outrage...


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 4:36 a.m.

What percentage of this or that really should not matter. Take the best applicants regardless of race and then we have equal rights. Race should have no role in who gets in. Using race or affirmitive action is racist.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 5:13 a.m.

There will be more Asian and few other minorities in all these top universities


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

Maybe you could interview someone ad UofM Admissions......?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:19 a.m.

How many Arabs, Asians, and Indians attend UM? I'm thinking quite a few. This article should be amended to say Blacks and Hispanics. Granted, they are the two largest minority groups, but they are not the only ones.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

How are my German-American brothers doing percentage wise? I demand to know! I want my percentage! Represent!


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

I thought the title of this article was misleading, so I clicked on the link to the original article. Just skip to the end and look at the last graph. Are Asians no longer considered minorities?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

AMOC, are you seriously saying that we should discriminate more aggressively against Jews and Asians because they're generally better students? BTW, not everyone who is racially an Asian is a foreign student from Japan, China, or Korea. Many are American citizens. Should we discriminate against them because they're earned a set at the U of M?

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Asians are not considered underrepresented minorities in terms of college admissions. At U-M, there are 5,689 Asian Americans. There are another 5,881 students that hail internationally, many from Asian countries. For example, there are 1,747 students from China, 752 students from India and 687 students from South Korea. Read more: and


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

a2girl - For purposes of college admissions, Asians are OVER-represented based on their proportion of the US population. Therefore they, like Jews, must often have significantly better grades or test scores than their white, Hispanic or black classmates in order to get into selective programs. I just wish that UM and others applied this rule to the students from China, Japan and Korea as well.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:33 a.m.

I hate that this is even a measured statistic. Want to have racism go away? How about we stop measuring the number of people with different skin color and backgrounds at national universities? Want to make fair admissions? Don't have a box where you check what race you are. Admit students based on their resume, not their background. I can tell you this, when you look for a job they aren't picking the resumes based on a race check box. The best person gets the job, and that's how college should be. The best applicants get the spot. Despite what some may think, going to college is not a right.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

Absolutely right @hail And if you dont qualify to attend this college, pick another. You have to earn your way into the top college in the state. If you're denied, work your way down the list. College isn't like high school where you basically just have to show up and you pass. If your grades are not good they will be even worse once you're in the college environment. It takes dedication and hard work - which you must show you have to begin with....unless you're a sports player unfortunately. I learned some very interesting things while working at one of the luxury car dealers in town.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

Ahhh, a lot of companies still look for boxes to check.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Conversely, blacks and hispanics have the highest rate of racially based student groups, entitlements, and preferential intake guidelines.

Dog Guy

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

The percentage of blacks and hispanics that make up the University of Michigan student body is below the national racial composition average, indicating that those groups are wising up.

Evan Smith

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

Duh, of course minorities will be underrepresented. Affirmative action was banned, remember. Now if the supreme court reaffirms the appeals courts ruling of the overturning of the ballot initiative banning affirmative action, you can expect those numbers to change. Until then, Michigan really has no choice in the matter.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Evan, yours is a viewpoint echoed by Mary Sue Coleman.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

hail2thevict0r - Asians are minority students who have no problem getting into good colleges even though they're punished for the color of their skin. The dean of a public college in California said in an interview that he doesn't want Asian students because...they're boring. Yet they succeed, even though many of them are from poor immigrant families that don't speak English.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:33 a.m.

So minorities can only get into college when the colleges favor them by the color of their skin? I'd be insulted by your comment if I wasn't a white male.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:19 a.m.

Geez judging a man for his character over his skin color is what MLK stood for, now if we could work on what Angry Moderate said we'll see real change you can believe.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

That short article doesnt state that test scores are keeping minorities out. I would be interested in knowing how many minorities have applied compared to "non-minorities" and where the test scores, grades, attendance records, and community involvement fall for all of those whom applied. Affirmative action made a quota requirement so the schools were forced to take every minority applicant regardless of qualifications until they had the correct percentage. Now everyone is weighed and accepted on an equal basis. If there are 300 open seats, the top 300 applicants get in.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

Of course we have a choice--we can improve the grades and test scores of black and Hispanic students so that they're qualified to attend U of M.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Expecting the number of Hispanics at U of M to match the number of Hispanics at public colleges in California and Texas seems a bit silly.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

Or to reverse it, lets count the number of Canadians at California and Texas Universities! lol


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

10% of Americans are black , so it makes perfect scene.

Evan Smith

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Only 4.4% of undergraduates at U-M are African American while 14.3% of Michiganders and 13.1% of Americans are black. That's a huge disparity.