Can Colleges and Institutions use Race as a factor when making their accepting decisions?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    California is prohibited by law from using race as a factor in their state university admissions decisions. The result is a high percentage of Asian students and a low percentage of black students. I believe they are now considering eliminating SAT/ACT exams as a factor in admissions. Black students tend to do more poorly on standardized tests (while Asians do better), so eliminating the tests might even out the admissions field, so to speak. Colleges and universities outside California do try to balance out their student populations by admitting a more diverse population.

  • 1 month ago

    In part, yes.  There is some debate about its legality and rightfulness.  The given reason is desire for diversity, and the target numbers are established before anyone applies, so there is no real unfairness to any one individual, at least according to the argument.  Even geographic location of the applicant is used as part of the decision process.

    There is a gray zone between discrimination based on race and any conflict it might have with the stated goals of the institution to avoid negative discrimination.

    The main thing about discrimination is that it is illegal to negatively discriminate based on certain defined criteria such as race and religion.  It is not illegal to discriminate positively, though.  To prove illegal discrimination requires proving harm to an individual based solely on some characteristic that it is illegal to use as a reason for negative discrimination.  Thus, the gray zone.  Is it discrimination against another when you give a benefit to one that is not available to the other?  Sounds like it to me, in a zero-sum world.  We do not live in a zero-sum world though.  That other person is also given a benefit not available to the first (since all racial traits have assigned target numbers), so the harms are distributed equally and net zero harm to either.  Or at least that is the idea.

  • 1 month ago

    Some do ... in the name of promoting 'diversity'.  Further, there are allegations that some intentionally discriminated against Asian-Americans.  Notably, CA has prohibited this practice -- although underground rumors suggest that they still do it, just using other methods [diversity across high schools applicants graduated from, for example].

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