Race and College Admissions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bmt134, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. bmt134 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2012
    Do you think race should be a part of the college admissions process? I feel race is absolutely irrelevant and admissions should be based on meritocracy. I also find it ironic in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, that the complainant actually benefits from affirmative action!


    How do you feel about a supposed Asian Quota from Ivy league schools?

    California schools such as UCLA and Caltech have race-blind admissions and in turn have significantly higher percentages of Asians compared to equal caliber schools. People make affirmative action a black vs white issue, yet Asians by and large get the short end of the straw!
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, race should not be a factor in college admissions.
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I am all for getting rid of affirmative action. Getting into a college or university that has some levels of requirement should be made on how well an individual matches up to them, not by race influence.

    For me, I could care les if you are black, white, latino or asian. If you make the cut and are above the requirements, then you are in. If you don't, then sorry. I feel its unfair for someone to go in based on race and leave out someone that has more merits.
  4. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Not just no, but hell no.

    Grades aren't good enough for your first choice, learn to like your 2nd, or 3rd or 4th option.

    I say this as a non-white person.
  5. Jbenn425 macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    New Jersey
    I think affirmative action is unfair to all races, even the ones who benefit from it most.
  6. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    If an individual- regardless of race- grew up in a bad neighborhood and went to schools with low graduation rates, then schools should relax their standards a little if it's clear that student worked hard and did well. The difference between very good and excellent grades in that case might've been bridged by a better school or an unaffordable tutor.

    But I don't think just your race or ethnicity by itself should play a role in college admissions.
  7. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    I'm not sure about race, but I think if there wasn't a quota, our schools would be 99% foreigners. Grad schools are close enough though- my school was almost 80% international.
  8. leftywamumonkey, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Affirmative action negatively affects someone like me the most, so I would be all in for getting rid of it. Regardless though, it's an unfair practice that factors in something that shouldn't matter in an academic setting.
  9. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    If prejudice and discrimination no longer existed or was so minor that it's a rarity, I'll be all for getting rid of affirmative action and quotas. But it's still a big problem in America. So as messed up as it sounds, I rather see a small amount of whites not get admitted to a certain college or hired for a job VS a much larger number of minorities not having a chance. That's just the reality we live in.

    Also it's not just a racial thing. White women have benefited from affirmative action more than blacks or other minorities. This isn't a fact conservatives like to touch on though, nor a fact that the general public is aware of. Media does a good job at stereotyping affirmative action as a pro black only thing. ;)
  10. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006

    What's this nonsense that you're talking about with racism still existing today? I mean, we do have a black president so that means that racism is over, duhhhh!

  11. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    All I know is that we have to take action to avoid a stratified society. In the past this was largely along racial and gender lines. Now I think we risk generating an underclass of poor/working class people who do not have fair access to education, and thus we might have to extend affirmative action to all poor people, including those from the majority ethnic group.

    FWIW in the UK there is no such thing as affirmative action per se, and it shows in the under-representation of minority groups at university level. Interestingly, in some subjects admissions seem to favour women because they are outperforming men in secondary education. It will be interesting to see whether the tune against affirmative action will suddenly change in these subjects with a majority of female students.....
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    This seems like a sensible update to the rules.
  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    They're already doing this. Most schools I'm aware of around here (I have family members who went through the admissions process within the past year or so) require a certain GPA overall (thus comparing you to all applicants), OR by graduating in the top X percent of your class (thus comparing you only to your peers at your school).

    I totally understand why a college or university would want some racial/ethnic diversity in their student population, and I have no problem if they choose to consider race when making their decisions. I do have a problem with applying an across-the-board lowering of standards for one race over another, or making any type of criteria automatic for one race and not for another.
  14. Huntn, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

    Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Typically I have supported the concept of affirmative action. One group, until the civil rights movement was keep separate and unequal, a national disgrace. The legacy of slavery and blacks in this country has set a large percentage of that group behind. Other groups have appeared, have been initially disliked/hated, but have worked their way into society and overcome the obstacles. Can the argument be made that slavery was that horrendous? I think it can. (Go see 12 Years A Slave.) My impression is that slavery and race relations definitely put this group behind an insurmountable obstacle until the civil rights movement, only 50 years ago, within many of our lifetimes. A needed civil rights movement BTW driven by liberals. Let the conservatives nash their teeth but equality is supposed to be a standard in this country. How I digress... ;)

    But these days "give'm a break" based on race alone seems simplistic. You could have middle class blacks from middle class neighborhoods who went to good schools getting unfair preferences in college applications. If comparing apples to apples (students who attended good schools) it seems that the evaluation criteria should mostly be grade performance although you can still make an argument that race diversity is good for society and should be factored in, but maybe to a lesser degree when comparing apples to apples. And just because you don't make it into your preferred college is not the end of the world anyway. There are other avenues on the college path to get an education.

    Despite that, if it is decided that handing out breaks is a good policy, then looking at the economic backgrounds (and the hindrance to top grades it might represent) of all applicants, regardless of race, with the caveat that a neutral* attitude is ensured, that might be a fairer, but more time consuming way of evaluating who should get a break today. But finding the right path forward is tough if we are dealing with a prejudiced system, with prejudiced people in charge. I believe this is why the criteria has been based on race alone.

    *neutral- easy to express, hard to ensure.
  15. 63dot, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I am Asian and I did pretty good on SAT (top 1 percentile on math, top 23rd on English). I knew colleges were discriminating against Asians but I was and still am OK with it.

    If things were need blind and merit was all that counted (SAT, GPA, and extras), then the Ivy would become an Asian Chinatown due to the overemphasis Asians put on private universities. Let's say a #1 program in a certain discipline was at a Berkeley or UCLA but the #15 ranked program was at Stanford or Dartmouth. The Asian family, 99 times out of 100, would go into debt to make sure the kid went to the private college. With that belief system, it's been predicted that the 8 ivies would be virtually totally Asian. I find a problem with that and people already thinking China is taking over the world economically. I am of Japanese descent btw, but you get my drift. Stanford, USC, and Cal Tech, already overrepresented with Asians, would be like the Ivy with few very few non-Jewish whites, blacks, or Hispanics on campus.

    Does that mean Asians are smarter?

    No. The culture, at least being of a different color than the white majority, feels that the best way to combat racism is doing well on two things which are GPA and SAT. It doesn't solve all issues but it makes college an area where Asians tend to do well.

    The minority populace, regardless of what color one is, needs to stick together and Asians should allow quite a few spots to allow for others to have the chance, too. Consider it a civic duty. America gave a lot, and judging from how well Asians have done educationally and financially, it's time to give back and the best way is to fight for affirmative action.
  16. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    College admissions should be based on socio-economic background.
  17. unlinked macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    Do you mean biased by or based on? I don't agree with biasing based on poverty but it isn't nearly as bad as race or gender based bias.

    College admissions should be based on nationally administered tests that cover a broad range of subjects. I'm probably biased since that is what we use in Ireland.
  18. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    Should we take into account a purely physical factor that you have no control over and that you were born with? No. That's racism, and it doesn't belong in the 21st century.
  19. MyMac1976, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

    MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    The problem is education isn't standardized very well across all 50 states. You could be the star of your school and still not score well enough on standardized test to go to college because you schools curriculum was strict enough. i.e. you could do all the right things and still loose

    There's the second part about how are these poor kids supposed to pay for college? The average cost of an college is about 15k a year if I recall and that's just tuition.

    The education system in America is a cluster **** until we fix it we will continue on our gradual decline.
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Everyone here needs to read up on what Affirmative Action really is.


    Every time someone mentions it they immediately default to, "race" when it in fact takes into account so much more.

    There's a comment up there that I don't even feel like quoting that mentions how AA will have to start benefitting whites . . . . . . . . like it doesn't already.

    Merit? Totally garbage. That makes me think you've never actually applied for a university.


    It's nice at first but that wouldn't fly here in the US. No one need be well versed in a broad range of subjects. Science, mathematics, reading, writing, and basic common sense should all that be needed. Social studies, art, history, etc. are things that one really needs to pick up when they are in their major . . . . more than the basics that is.

    Actually poverty and race go hand in hand in the US, so while there is a gender/sexuality bias, it's not larger than the race/socio-economic one in the US.

  21. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That's an interesting method, as I don't think many parents would intentionally place their kids in under-performing schools.
  22. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    So just so I am clear, if some Vietnamese person that grew up in a shack with no roads, running water, or a supermarket, moves to the USA, they are expected to score higher on the SAT because they have the magic Asian smart gene and this levels the playing field?


    This is just "acceptable" discrimination and racism. Call it what it is.
  23. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I think diversity has it's merits. And as far as being smarter, there is smart and then there is motivated. Deserved (or not), Asians whether they are more intelligent or not, have a reputation for a strong cultural work ethic and applying themselves. This too may be one of those generalities, but it shows that as a group, they have made a good impression. :)

    In comparison the middle aged, mostly anglo kids of the age my son grew up with (now is 31), if I generalize, just seem to have had it too good growing up, parents who spoiled, and seemed to think somehow they were entitled to the good life. I assume that illusion has evaporated by now for the free loaders. ;)
  24. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    This is called stereotyping, FYI.

    A positive stereotype is a negative just like a...negative stereotype.
  25. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    I agree.

    I often wonder how people feel about an across-the-board lowering of standards for athletes in certain sports in a lot of colleges and universities. I've had many a conversation with people completely against any type of affirmative action - except of course, if they can help the football team (or basketball, which is more popular where I'm from).

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