The Relation Between Race And College In America


The question of whether race matters in college admissions is not simply a yes or no question. It’s a question that has many yes(es) and many no(s) and many, “sit down, let’s get into it.”

This is a topic of with a lot of history, because like you and me, people have really thought about this topic. Yes, race matters in college admissions and no, race does not matter; to be frank, it all depends on the college. Some colleges consider race before determining if a student belongs on the accepted list, rejected list, waitlisted, or the deferred list. This brings us to the topic of affirmative action..

Affirmative action, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is the practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously. Some colleges follow affirmative action and some just don’t. Some colleges don’t think that race should matter when considering an applicant for their school and this seems to be how a lot of students also feel. A lot of students believe that due to this issue of affirmative action, they are now in turn being discriminated against. They believe that the issue of affirmative action has caused most colleges, especially the top ones, to favor (other) students of color over them (them being mostly Asian American and white students).

Affirmative Action policies have led to some major lawsuits, against some top schools, over the last few years. One of the most recent lawsuits was against Harvard University in 2014. This lawsuit was filed against Harvard by an organization called Students for Fair Admissions. They claimed that Harvard discriminated against Asian American applicants in its undergraduate admissions process. These students believed that they were discriminated against by Harvard due to their race, a viewpoint shared by many students. When a student of color, an African-American student for example, gets into one of these top colleges, people feel that they only got in because they are African American. In reality, the admission process is based on not just race, but a lot of other things. However, many students feel like they don’t get into these schools just because of their race.

Although the concept of affirmative action was really created to combat discrimination, and to make sure that a lot more students of color and women attend these top schools, it has turned over a little bit. This is because, like it was mentioned earlier, a lot of students feel like they are discriminated against because of this same affirmative action.

The question now is should race matter at all in the college admissions process, even though states like California have already banned the consideration of race in college admissions. Do top colleges need affirmative action, or should it just be gotten rid of completely? These are questions that would receive a lot of mixed answers- but it’s really what we are dealing with as we apply to college.