In “Affirmative Reactions,”
Scott Jaschik examines minority
enrollment figures at two
universities a year after the
Supreme Court upheld affirmative
action. Should colleges
continue to consider race in
admissions, as the University
of Michigan has done? Or
does Texas A&M’s policy of
aggressively recruiting minority
applicants, without giving
them a boost in admissions
decisions, represent a more
promising way forward?
I think considering race as a positive factor and/or aggressively recruiting underrepresented groups is fine, as long as we accept that the purpose is more complicated than a simple reward for high school achievement. Too many people believe they are "entitled" to attend a certain college because they are smarter, score higher on tests, or just plain think they are "better." Then, they get all bent out of shape when they hear about a minority student who was admitted with lower scores, etc. Life is unfair; learn to deal with it. The purpose of increasing the numbers of minority students on campus goes much deeper than just righting some past injustice or overcoming other disadvantaging factors that might cause a minority student to score lower on tests, but fail to reveal an equal potential for success in college. College is only the beginning of a young person's journey through future success and career. We can debate about exactly how valuable "diversity" is in that experience, but I think one of the greatest learning experiences of college is to be thrown into an environment of many different people of many different backgrounds. The classes and material that is taught are really just an excuse to give the students something tangible to accomplish over 4 years--it is not the only or even the most important thing we learn from college. We need to step back and realize that college admissions is not a simple reward for high school with simple rules that everyone can compete equally on. Nothing else in life is like that and the sooner kids and parents learn to accept that, the better. If you are concerned that your white son might get "displaced" from admission to MIT and Harvard because of some "less-qualified" minority applicant, then apply to a few more schools.
I don't think race should be an issue.
Sara , Needham
This is in response to Dave's (Needham) lunatic diatribe. (from page 1) So let me get this straight - if I work really hard and get good grades in high school, I shouldn't expect to be admitted to college? And I shouldn't be upset when someone less academically qualified is admitted instead? Bollocks. And as far as diversity goes -students don't attend college to embrace the diversity of the student body. The are there to learn, and from the professors not the students. I'm reminded of a quote by NJ State Assemblymen Joseph Doria - D (of course) who said - "My colleagues and I are upset by this blatant attempt to replace diversity with fairness."
Admission should be based on merit NOT race. Admitting someone because they are of a certain ethnic background is racism.
Of course colleges should stop all "affirmative" action policies. Can anyone truly think that an African American growing up in Weston or Duxbury is at a "disadvantage" over a poor white kid from South Boston? Liberals are so much for "all men being equal" unless we're talking about "minorities", or gays, or the special interest du jour. If pollicies want to be created to help the poor, both black, white, red, yellow, etc, that can be much more justified as the economically disadvantaged do grow up in much more difficult conditions than the middle/upper classes. However, to simply differentiate based on the color of ones skin is disgraceful
I think that ones race SHOULD NOT play a role in an admission. If we are a society that "all men are created equal", then we shouldn't be basing these admissions on ones' skin color or ethnicity. It should be academic grades.
Gary, Newton NH
most people don't seem to understand college admisssions. They don't rank all applications in order of grades and test scores, as grade are vastly different from school to school and test scores can be bought with test prep. They set a bar ALL accepted students must clear, then they pick a class. Most schools turn away 1000's of qualified applicants but that doesn't mean they accept unqualified ones. When "building" a college class many factors are considered after all qualified students clear the grade and test score bar including geography, background, extra ciriculars (sports, music drama), community service, parental legacy , gender, religion, and many other factors as well as race. This myth that good white students aren't getting into a good college because race is considered is just a scare tactic. Most students get into several schools and get turned down from some too, thats just life. I went to a rural all white high school and diversity ended up being extremelly important for me at college. I learned as much from my fellow classmates as any professor. College isn't just lectures and homework it's the begining of life in the big world and all the experiences there are importent not just classes. All good students will get into a good school, there are plenty of them out there, so make the best of were you end up instead of blaming others for not getting your way.
Race should be considered in college admisions. Although white folks believe that everyone should be treated and assessed equally, unfortunately, this is not the case. Still, on this day, people bias play an important role in who gets accepetd in college or not. Preference over a race, rather than people of color, still exist today. I don't think taking race off applications would help colleges in the nation, or help people of color obtain quality education.
Affirmative action is a racist policy that should be abolished immediately. Racism is defined by discrimination based on the color of one's skin. In the case of affirmative action, that color of the skin of the person who is being discriminated against just so happens to be white, so it's OK. This country was and always should be a meritocracy, period. Martin Luther King once said people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. He would be rolling in his grave if he could se affirmative action today!
Admissin to college should be based on merit, and merit only. You have either earned it or you have not.