Equitable Admissions

Taking away affirmative action from college admissions is a lose-lose scenario

Currently, the Supreme Court is considering a case about whether or not race should be considered in the admissions processes at colleges. The schools in question, Harvard and University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill, use information about applicants’ race to increase campus diversity and make up for pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities. However, this process often puts Asian American and white students at a disadvantage in admissions. As an underrepresented minority currently in the midst of college applications, I believe colleges’ consideration of race in their admissions process is a must.

Underrepresented minorities, or Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students, often face barriers that prevent their application from showing their true potential. Historical marginalization and redlining leads to worse schools and a lack of resources for many, resulting in low SAT/ACT scores and limited extracurriculars. Still, a score or GPA outside of college’s average range doesn’t mean the student isn’t a good candidate. Accounting for these historical inequalities can make up for gaps in opportunity and resources, drawing a fairer starting line.

As a mixed student, having a holistic review of my application is of the utmost importance to me. I have been lucky to benefit from many academic resources and guidance that have improved my applications greatly. However, many underrepresented minorities in the US don’t have the opportunity to get access to these resources.

This doesn’t mean colleges should admit students out of pity or to achieve a sentiment of white saviorism. Most applicants are excellent candidates without race included, but with it, they have a unique position to contribute to a college’s incorporation of diverse perspectives and an inclusive student body. Without using affirmative action, colleges have limited ways to create diversity and equity at their campuses. Moreover, many colleges like Harvard and UNC profited from historical racism, such as taking land away from Native American tribes for their campuses. Ignoring race both hurts the college’s rankings and bars marginalized students from obtaining an elite education and benefiting from higher wages and better jobs. Ultimately, it is a lose-lose situation that creates additional burdens on future generations when colleges’ diversity decreases.

If students nationwide, including at CV, face “colorblind” admissions that don’t consider race, existing gaps will only increase at every level of education. As an underrepresented minority, I feel this would ignore the additional burdens my family went through to have the opportunity of higher education. The Supreme Court’s decision will affect students for generations, and I hope it will be the right one.