Affirmative Action and College Admissions

November 17, 2017 • Volume 27, Issue 41
Should racial and ethnic preferences continue?
By Tom Price

Introduction

Demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court (Cover: Getty Images/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)
Demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9, 2015, protest against affirmative action, which they said discriminates against Asian-American applicants to college. The Trump administration is investigating claims that universities are unfairly selecting black and Hispanic applicants over Asian-Americans. (Cover: Getty Images/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)

The Supreme Court has upheld the use of race in college admissions, but affirmative action is facing new challenges. Many whites continue to oppose giving preference to minorities to compensate for discrimination and to diversify campuses, and the Trump administration says it may sue universities practicing “intentional” discrimination. Several critics question affirmative action's effectiveness, citing minorities' continued under-representation at elite universities. But affirmative action's defenders say it has helped raise minority representation on campuses, and that most universities rely on a “holistic” admissions approach that looks at applicants' public service, creativity and other attributes, as well as race. Georgetown and other schools are pursuing innovative ways to diversify their student bodies, such as admitting the descendants of slaves owned by their institutions. Meanwhile, activist Edward Blum has filed numerous suits challenging laws and policies that favor minorities over whites.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Oct. 30, 2020  Systemic Racism
Oct. 16, 2020  Monument Protests
Oct. 09, 2020  Police Under Scrutiny
Aug. 23, 2019  Reparations for Slavery
Sep. 07, 2018  The STEM Gender Gap
Jan. 19, 2018  Future of Puerto Rico
Nov. 17, 2017  Affirmative Action and College Admissions
Jul. 28, 2017  Muslims in America
Mar. 10, 2017  Charter Schools
Sep. 23, 2016  Women in Leadership
Aug. 05, 2016  Diversity in Hollywood
May 13, 2016  Women in Combat
Jan. 08, 2016  Racial Conflict
Dec. 11, 2015  Transgender Rights
May 01, 2015  Community Colleges
Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 03, 2015  Latino Voters
Dec. 12, 2014  Police Tactics
Sep. 14, 2007  Racial Diversity in Public Schools Updated
Dec. 12, 2003  Black Colleges
Oct. 10, 1997  Diversity in the Workplace
Jan. 20, 1971  Ethnic America
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Civil Rights Movement
College Financing and Funding
Diversity Issues
Education Policy
Education Standards and Testing
Federal Courts
Powers and History of the Presidency
Student Movements
Supreme Court History and Decisions
Undergraduate and Graduate Education