The New Dealer

  • March 29April 2019 Edition

Why didn’t I get in?

Levi Ball, Reporter

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After going through the painstaking process of applying to colleges, many students wait anxiously for a possible acceptance letter. So for a highly qualified student, not getting accepted can be a hit to the heart. One that could bring to the surface many insecurities they have in the college admission process and the overall education system, pointing a finger to affirmative action as a reason they did not get in. This is where qualified applicants must take a breathe, rationalize, and take in the reality of the situation.

  1. You have applied to other colleges, it’s rare to get no acceptances.
  2. Affirmative Action is a policy put in place to help historically disadvantaged groups, this includes but is not limited to women, minority groups and low-income families. In terms of college admissions, colleges generally use a holistic approach that factors in other elements along with academic performance like extra-curricular, socio-economic status and race. This holistic approach is beneficial to diversity in college, though it has its downsides. For example, the reality that in Ivy league colleges or competitive colleges seats are reserved for athletes, alumni, donors and possible donors, leaving the left over seats to qualifying students without these benefits to colleges (cite admissions officer).
  3. Quotas are illegal. As of the 2003 case Regents of Univ. of Cali. vs. Bakke ruled racial quotas illegal and Gratz v. Bollinger further upheld the ruling of Cali. vs. Bakke.
  4. If you are among the Asian American community, there is a high threshold on the requirements to get into college which are higher than your white counterpart. A widely cited Princeton study in 2005, found that an Asian American applicant must score 140 points more than their white counterpart on the 1600-point SAT. Asian American college applicants (mostly Chinese-American) originally a very successful beneficiary of affirmative action, now that Asian Americans are not underrepresented in the admissions pool there are negative feelings from highly qualified students. There is still a need for affirmative action that does very much help other sub-Asian groups like people of Hmong descent, Cambodians etc. because these groups that face barriers to education. What people are opposed to is negative actions like quotas and discrimination which are illegal and insurrections should be addressed, not affirmative action. This shouldn’t be used as a tool to divide and disenfranchise minority communities of color. As of 2017, there is no concrete evidence that selective colleges are using racial quotas..
  5. A meritocracy based college admission does not work, it’s not hard to find countless researches that point out that the percentage of families living below the poverty line entering college is low. It’s a cycle, students coming from low income families do not have access to the same resources as a middle class family, it isn’t wise to expect them to have the merit to get good quality education and be aware of resources no one is there to tell them about.
  6. There should be a focus to fix the inconsistencies in education from k-12 rather than to level that out in college after the effect, treating symptoms and not the actual affliction. Who will be the bright new Education Secretary? Please promptly replace Betsy DeVose!

The education system places values on the wrong things, holistic approaches partially being biased towards students that would benefit the college the most financially and with influence.

 

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Why didn’t I get in?