High School Student Says U-M Is Unfair On Admissions. And She Isn't White.

April 15, 2014, 2:59 PM

The University of Michigan rejected Brooke Kimbrough's application, but Kimbrough is not backing down. She dreamed all her life of attending college in Ann Arbor.

Now Kimbrough, of Detroit, is protesting the decision not only for herself but for other prospective African-American and Latino students. Her fight is a familiar story of a student applying to U-M, and calling for public attention to her rejection.

But this time, the student is black, not white, writes Kim Kozlowski in the Detroit News.

Kimbrough, 17, has a 3.5 GPA and belongs to the prize-winning debate team at University Prep Academy High School, one of Detroit’s top charter schools. She scored 23 on the ACT — a college readiness test with a possible high score of 36. Last year, she was executive director of her school’s National Honor Society; this year, she is president, Kozlowski reports.

“It represents a bigger struggle than just me — making the community more diverse in a multitude of ways,” she told Kozlowski. “I know that is what U-M stands for. But the university cannot say it’s (diverse) if it doesn’t have equal representation.”

Kimbrough will be the featured speaker during a rally today at U-M, sponsored by the pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary, where she plans to talk about how she will fight her denial into U-M.

Her protest comes more than a decade after Jennifer Gratz, a white student from Southgate, was denied admission to U-M, sparking debate about the relevance of affirmative action in higher education, a discussion that continues today: By June, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule again on affirmative action in college admissions, this time deciding the legality of Michigan’s 2006 voter-approved ban.

Kozlowski's story had 350 comments by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Jeff Pozy, from Ann Arbo: "Wow! A 3.5 GPA and an ACT of 23 is not very strong. Kimbrough obviously has delusions of grandeur. This student is not that gifted. Why does she expect to be admitted into the state's most prestigious university? 

Jennifer Gratz: "In addition to the bias and inaccuracies in this story, my fight and this woman's press conference are nothing alike. I fought for all applicants to be treated equally - as individuals, without regard to race. This woman is standing up for group rights and asking for preferential treatment based on race while others are discriminated against, she wants unequal treatment. Ms. Kimbrough is fighting because she wasn't accepted; I fought because of discrimination in the admissions process, a major difference. Had I been rejected under a policy in which my race didn't hurt my chances of success, I would have been disappointed, but I would have accepted the outcome. I choose equality, Ms. Kimbrough and her radical friends at By Any Means Necessary continue the tired fight for inequality."

Read more:  Detroit News

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