Skeptical Views of Affirmative Action
Lloyd Green at Fox News:
Race-based affirmative action is patently unfair. For example, Harvard effectively mandates that Asian-Americans score 140 points higher than white students, 270 points more than Latino students, and 450 points greater than African-American students before they can earn an acceptance letter. This gap has even earned the moniker of the “Asian tax.”
As for targeting the economically disadvantaged, the record of race-conscious affirmative action is underwhelming. According to David Leonhardt of The New York Times, “low-income students, controlling for race, receive either no preference or a modest one, depending on which study you believe.” In other words, affirmative action is now another upper-middle class benefit, albeit one reserved for non-Asian minorities.
By the same measure, colleges need to get past giving mommy’s and daddy’s littlepreciouses a leg up in the admissions game simply because they are winners in the conception lottery. Fact, legacies are between two and three times more likely to be accepted into Harvard, Yale and Princeton than the great unwashed. Indeed, for all the talk of inequality killing the American Dream, it almost laughable watching the “meritocratic” elite defend social calcification and stratification in the name of the greater good.
Fred Lynch at The New York Times:
A 2016 Gallup poll on affirmative action was typical in finding majorities of all groups (76 percent of whites) who believed that merit alone should determine college admissions, with race or ethnicity playing a relatively minor role. Nevertheless, just last year, a closely divided Supreme Court affirmed an earlier decision that narrow use of race may be one of the many factors in undergraduate admissions at the University of Texas.
There is good reason to suspect that universities may not follow the letter of the law. Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicate that race is a substantial factor in medical school admissions, not one of many. For example, from 2013 to 2016, medical schools in the United States accepted 94 percent of blacks, 83 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of whites and 58 percent of Asians with top MCAT scores of 30 to 32 and grade-point averages of 3.6 to 3.8; for MCAT scores of 27 to 29 (G.P.A. of 3.4 to 3.6), the corresponding figures are 81 percent, 60 percent, 29 percent and 21 percent. For low-range MCAT scores of 24-26 (G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.4), 57 percent of blacks were admitted, 31 percent of Hispanics, 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians.