As the debate over college admissions policies reignites, a new Pew Research Center surveyfinds that most Americans (73%) say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions. Just 7% say race should be a major factor in college admissions, while 19% say it should be a minor factor.
The issue emerged again earlier this month when a federal judge heard closing arguments in the high-profile lawsuit against Harvard University that could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court and influence the future of affirmative action in higher education.
While majorities across racial and ethnic groups agree that race should not be a factor in college admissions, white adults are particularly likely to hold this view: 78% say this, compared with 65% of Hispanics, 62% of blacks and 59% of Asians (the Asian sample includes only those who speak English).
There are also large partisan gaps on this issue. Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party are far more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say that race or ethnicity should not be a factor in college admissions (85% vs. 63%). These party differences remain when looking only at whites: 88% of white Republicans say that colleges should not consider race in college admissions, compared with 66% of white Democrats.