4/09/2012

Baylor Law admissions data leaked

See Ted Frank's discussion here.
But Baylor itself does see a big disparity in another metric. I sorted the 431 students with "LSAT Index" scores. (An LSAT Index adds the LSAT to 10 times the GPA.) The top quartile is above 202 (e.g., 3.9/163 or 3.5/167); the median in 199 (e.g., 3.3/166 or 3.8/161), the bottom quartile is below 197 (e.g. 3.6/161 or 3.3/164). Baylor did not vary from the LSAT index often, only 2% of the class was below 193 and the lowest index was 189. In the top quartile (and stretching down to the top 128 admittees), there was a single African-American. So it's not accurate to say affirmative action makes little difference. The 4.0/170 white with a 210 Index gets a full scholarship to Baylor Law. The 4.0/170 black with a 210 Index might get the same offer, but doesn't accept the full scholarship to Baylor Law: she presumably has better options available to her. One would expect a 4.0/170 African-American to end up at a top-14 law school. Moreover, the 3.7/167 African-American generally isn't accepting the offers to attend Baylor Law, either. If we expect the top 10% of the class and the editorial board of the Baylor Law Review to be much more likely to come from the top quartile of applicants, African-Americans are going to be even more underrepresented than that 3%. If nothing else, larger bumps of affirmative action are having an effect on Baylor Law's diversity. But the real difference was in the scholarship money. Though non-Asian minorities had slightly lower Index scores on average, they averaged $24,231 in scholarship money; whites and Asians averaged under $20,000. It's unclear to what extent Baylor Law considers financial need in scholarship money, but it's clear that merit makes a big difference. Over 90% of students with Index scores above 206 got full scholarships (the three who didn't were white); less than 3% of students with Index scores below 202 got full scholarships, and all seven were African-American or Hispanic. . . .

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