Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy Analysis

Second Department


Reader 1

Colin J. Beck

Reader 2

Erich Steinman

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Charles R. Herman


Proposition 209 banned the consideration of race or ethnicity in admission decisions to the University of California (UC). The UC “clarified” their policy in 2008, recognizing that Native Americans enrolled in a federally recognized tribe enjoy a political status that enables them to be offered affirmative action, even when the consideration of race or ethnicity is banned. The Clarification led to a statistically significant surge in the Native American applicant share, acceptance rate, admit share, and enrollment share. Enrollment share increased by 56% from 2008 to 2010 at the UC, even as the three-tiered California system of higher education saw a 40% drop in Native American enrollment. The study also finds that Prop 209 shifted Native American students from the more selective to the less selective campuses. The results suggest that affirmative action is a strong determinant of both the number and the location of Native Americans at the UC.