Who Are the Beneficiaries of Affirmative Action?

Students have been affirmatively admitted to Ivy League and elite colleges and universities based on different affirmative criteria for decades (affirmative criteria based on gender, athletics, state of origin, development, elite private high school attendance etc.).  This complex policy involving the previously mentioned affirmative criteria is not likely to change soon.

Ironically, the Executive Branch of the United States government has withdrawn its advocacy of utilizing race as one of the affirmative criteria in college admissions.  In a joint letter, the US Education and Justice Departments announced on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 that they will rescind seven guidance documents that encouraged colleges and other schools to consider race as a factor when making admission decisions.

There are many statistics regarding the racial breakdown of admitted freshman to Ivy League and top colleges and universities.  In general, the following documented trends have emerged.

  • “…(A)t top tier universities, black undergraduate populations average 6 percent, a statistic that has remained largely flat for 20 years…(At Harvard, for example, 6.5 percent of undergraduates were black in 2013, down from 7.4 percent in 1994).” -The Atlantic, 11/23/15
  • According to a New York Times analysis (based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “(e)ven after decades of affirmative action, Black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago…”- New York Times, 8/20/17.
  • A 2016 study from the Center for American Progress finds that despite the use of race-conscious affirmative criteria Black students have low levels of enrollment at top-tier public universities.
  • “There is no question that top-tier schools are becoming more diverse. White students made up 58 percent of the student body in 2013, down from 72 percent in 1994.” -The Atlantic, 11/23/15
  • A more recent study by the New York Times indicates the percentage of white students admitted to Ivy League schools have been dropping, ranging from 40 percent (Columbia) to 56 percent (Dartmouth).

So what are the numbers really saying here, as the percentage of black and latino students have been flat (and in some cases dropping) and the percentage of white students have been dropping, despite the use of the affirmative criterion of race?

If Ivy League and elite colleges have been using race-conscious criteria to affirmatively accept students over the past 35 years, who has really benefited from race-conscious affirmative action admissions policies?  To determine the answer, just follow the percentages at each Ivy League and elite college and university.

Additionally, if Ivy League schools and elite colleges and universities will now reverse these policies to comply with The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America for equal protection/access under the law, who will and who will not benefit from the change in the policy of using race as an affirmative criterion?

Perhaps to uphold, abide by and comply with The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America for equal protection/access under the law, colleges and universities will dismiss ALL affirmative criteria and accept students in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment.

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