Racial Discrimination in University Admission Process
It is of common knowledge that racial discrimination is a hinderance to unity and progress, but it starts to become an inequitable problem when it influences the admission for potential college applicants. Universities have upheld a dishonorable reputation for discriminating students by their ethnic or racial background in the admissions process. They claim to have a racial quota they have to abide by, therefore, in response reject potential students that have fulfilled and exceeded all of the admission requirements.
This targeted discrimination is obstructing the chances for American students to haveequal education opportunities available to them, and violates the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 which prohibits discrimination against faculty, staff, and students including racial segregation of students, and requires schools to take action to overcome barriers on students’ equal participation. An individual’s race should not and does not determine their intellectual potential. There have been numerous situations where colleges and universities have discriminated against race. Harvard University, a prestigious Ivy League, has repeatedly been sued for objectifying students by their race.
In 1922, Harvard’s former president, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, warned that “jewish invasion” would “ruin the college.” He wanted to restrict the number of Jews who got accepted down tofifteen percent. This urged Harvard’s admission committee to take initiative by using a criteria of “character and fitness” to limit the number of Jews who enrolled. These practices continued for three decades to subdue the amount of Jewish students attending the university. A similar injustice is active today, but against Asian Americans. Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, and universities are raising their acceptance qualifications in order to limit the amount of Asians in their racial population.
Now in order to “to get into the top schools, they need SAT scores that are about 140 points higher than those of their white peers. In 2008, over half of all applicants to Harvard with exceptionally high SAT scores were Asian, yet they made up only 17% of the entering class,” (Yascha Mounk). An organization called “Students for fair admissions” or SFFA states that this is “intentional discrimination” and is in violation of Title 6 of the Civil Rights act of 1964. Universities are using the increase in population of particular races as an excuse to limit the number of said races on their campus’. The selection process has proven to be inconsiderate to targeted races, even if they’ve met all the required qualifications.
The surge of expectations for a racial class is used unfairly to restrict the quantity of a fixed race, but this complication can be altered within the admission application. A solution to this mass problem, is to simply revoke the ethnicity question from the application entirely. By doing this, universities can be fair in choosing future students based solely on their academic achievements. A university is an educational institution built for the development of advanced learning, and they are expected to accept students who have the ability to learn on a developmental level. Though this solution is a simple and effective way to advocate equality amongst applicants, it’s arguable that this may disassemble diversity on campus.
Diversity should not be interpreted as a race factor but should be based on the skills and intellectual potential different students offer in applying to universities. The definition of diversity is “a range of various different things,” but people have associated this variation to race. Diversity, by no means, is not the variation of race, and should be elucidated as the variation of skills. Skills is what will advance our society, not ethnicity. If universities continue to offer an educational opportunity to a specific ethnicity and overlook those who uphold a contributing skill, then the chances for our society to advance will become excruciatingly limited.
Furthermore, removing the ethnicity question from applications will not abolish diversity in anyway, it only gives applicants the chance to apply for university based on their academic achievement, which is the prime and only factor that is supposed to be used in admittance. The bias universities have towards race is not just a matter of choosing “favorites” but rather demolishing these applicants potential to fulfill a promising future and become successful laborers of our society. Just think about it, what if you have the perfect grade point average, the perfect standardized testing score, and you’ve fulfilled all the requirements, but they wouldn’t accept you because of your racial background. Sources: Mounk, Yascha. “Is Harvard Unfair to Asian-Americans?” The New York Times.
The New York Times, 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2015 Shapiro, Jeffrey Scott. “Harvard, UNC Sued over Race-based Admissions Policies.
” Washington Times. The Washington Times, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.