The Atlantic

The University of Michigan’s Plan to Increase Diversity

The administration has launched a multiyear racial and socioeconomic diversity plan, but a lot of students aren’t pleased.
Source: Robert Nickelsberg / Getty

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Jacqueline Graniel spent her whole childhood in Southern California assuming other families also lived paycheck to paycheck. Now, as she studies for both a medical degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, she has found that some of her classmates avoid the stress of renting and dealing with landlords by simply buying houses, sometimes with help from their parents. That’s not an option for Graniel; she sends a portion of her stipend home to support her family.

Growing up with a single father, Graniel has been taking care of siblings since she was in elementary school, and she’s happy to help support the people she loves. But to suddenly be surrounded by students who have the luxury of focusing solely on school was jarring. “If I didn’t have a tight community, I would probably feel lost,” she said recently during lunch downtown with some of the people who make up that community, specifically other members of the Society for Advancement of Hispanic/Chicanos

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