Should Colleges Consider Race for Admissions

Even in 2019, discrimination still exists in the field of education

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Should Colleges Consider Race for Admissions

Sitting above the student body at Lafayette High School, the Harvard banner serves a prestigious symbol

Sitting above the student body at Lafayette High School, the Harvard banner serves a prestigious symbol

Matt Zayas

Sitting above the student body at Lafayette High School, the Harvard banner serves a prestigious symbol

Matt Zayas

Matt Zayas

Sitting above the student body at Lafayette High School, the Harvard banner serves a prestigious symbol

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Throughout the history of the United States, there has been extreme racism and societal discrimination against all minorities. However, throughout the long history of our nation, race relations have improved significantly. There are a multitude of laws protecting individuals of color, and society has become much more “colorblind” in regards to assessing the character of others. However, discrimination still exists in America: The Harvard University Admissions Office.

In 2014, a lawsuit was filed against Harvard for alleged discrimination against Asian Americans in regards to admissions. The allegations include a multitude of discriminatory acts within the admissions process for applicants. According to an article in the New York Times, Asian and White applicants, as a whole, ranked higher than African Americans and Hispanics in regards to test scores, academics, and extracurricular activities. However, Harvard’s admissions office consistently ranked Asians and Whites lower in regards to “personality.” The group suing Harvard has accused the school of using racial stereotypes when evaluating Asian applicants. These generalizations include, but are not limited to: Asian students do not have personality; they spend too much time focusing on school, etc. This lawsuit is expected to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Some speculate that the heavily conservative court will rule against Harvard, therefore disbanding affirmative action in the realm of higher education. “I think it’s more likely than not that they will go against Harvard for this one, seeing how the

As Matt Zayas explains the lawsuit to Christian Hankins, he gives his opinion on how he thinks the courts will rule,

court is currently set up,” said Christian Hankins, a senior at Lafayette High School. While the outcome seems likely, it remains to be seen, as quite literally, the verdict is still out there.

As this case carries on, it is important that we as a society evaluate affirmative action and decide whether or not it is still necessary for our country today. As with everything that exists in our modern world, we have to look at where it began. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925. This executive order was the first form of affirmative action, as it required both the government and their contractors to not consider race when hiring their employees. Obviously, this was issued in order to help the societal position of African Americans in America, allowing them easier access to government jobs. As time went on, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were passed, further pushing the United States towards racial equality. Along with this, affirmative action moved into the realm of education. This aspect of it became most apparent in regards to college admissions. When it comes to admitting applicants, colleges often require lower SAT or ACT scores for minorities such as Hispanics and African Americans.

Seen as the holy grail of college acceptance, the college board is very important to high schoolers who pursue higher education.

This has been quite the controversy for both students and parents over the years. One side believes that affirmative action is necessary to maintain diversity on college campuses, while the opposite side believes that the set of policies is racist and outdated.

If it were up to me, affirmative action for college admissions would end today. In my opinion, these set of policies are demeaning to minorities and hamper the student selection process. When a student applies to a university, they should be considered on their merit alone. If a student is passed up solely based on their race that is just discrimination in the other direction. College is meant to be a place where students can advance their knowledge and potentially change the world, as such, a student with immense potential shouldn’t be passed up solely based on his or her race.

Thousands of students across the country put sweat and tears into studying for college entrance exams such as the SAT, ACT, and PSAT.

“It is quite ridiculous to be honest, and I’m saying this as a black man. They should just make it so that college applications do not ask about race, because that is irrelevant to the intellect or potential of the student,” said William Vancleiff, a Junior at Virginia Tech.

Sitting down to talk with Matt Zayas; Zach Yelich expresses his strong views on affirmative action for colleges.

Do not get me wrong, colleges should have students with a wide variety of backgrounds, but lowering standards for certain groups is the wrong way to go. In a way, it is quite racist, as they are essentially assuming that minorities do not have as much academic potential as Whites and Asians. “This program is quite counterproductive. Just because someone is a minority, it doesn’t mean that they come from a different background. They could be just as wealthy as white people” said Zach Yelich, a Senior at Lafayette High School. All in all, affirmative action for colleges should be removed due to its arbitrary selective nature.