AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, THE GOOD AND THE BAD

AFFIRMATIVE+ACTION%2C+THE+GOOD+AND+THE+BAD

          According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, Affirmative Action is “the practice or policy of making sure that a particular number of jobs, etc. are given to people from groups that are often treated unfairly because of their race, sex, etc.” 

          When it comes to college admissions, Affirmative Action establishes race quotas. 

          In 2003, Grutter v. Bollinger, a landmark case, ruled in favor of allowing colleges and universities to use race as a factor in college admission. Universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Purdue have all admitted to using race in their admissions to promote diversity on their campus. But really, it’s just racial balancing.

          In 2019, Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College was settled. The Supreme Court allowed Harvard to continue to use race as a factor in admission. Harvard openly admitted that applicants who identified as Asian consistently scored higher in academic and extracurricular aspects of their application. So basically, Harvard is discriminating against Asian Americans in the name of diversity. 

          Harvard defended that they also value personality just as much as academics. Meaning, if they found the applicant was kind, had a positive personality, and was very likable, they would score higher on the personality aspect of their application. It’s hard to believe personal qualities are to blame for Asian Americans having the lowest acceptance.

          Asian Americans have the lowest acceptance rate compared to any other race. Yet accepted applicants had average SAT, ACT, and GPA scores higher than any other race. Meaning an applicant who identified as Asian would have to perform to a higher standard than those who did not identify as Asian.

          The Ivy League admission system is a complicated system, often criticized as biased. In an article published by Forbes, it states that “at Harvard, 14% of the entering class were legacies.” (entering class of 2022). 70% of these legacy admitees were white. Legacy admission rates at elite non-Ivy League universities, like Stanford, were similar. 

          However, when children of Ivy League grads get rejected, parents often blame Affirmative Action. They believe their child’s spot at this elite university was taken from them unfairly.

          The last Ivy League university to admit women is Colombia, which became coed in 1987. Princeton was the last Ivy League university to allow African Americans, which it did in 1947. Affirmative Action was meant to compensate for these injustices. 

          Harvard is not the only university that partakes in Affirmative Action. Many American universities, elite and local, are committed to the principles of Affirmative Action. The ideology of Affirmative Action was not bad, but it was poorly carried out. According to Wikipedia, Affirmative Action was supposed to “achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.”

          However, the group of people who benefit most from Affirmative Action is white women. Not Latinos, African Americans, or Indigenous people. Furthermore, Affirmative Action does not benefit Asian Americans at all. In fact, it harms them. Asian Americans only make up 7% of the U.S. population, less than half of the African American population.

          Although Affirmative Action is well intentioned, it resulted in discriminatory practices in college admissions systems.