This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments against race-conscious admissions at Harvard University. Students For Fair Admissions, a student-body organization advocating for merit-based application reviews, is accusing the university of racial discrimination against Asian American students. A similar case will be heard against The University of North Carolina who’s been accused of discriminating against white students.
Many fear the future of Affirmative Action is in jeopardy regarding the conservative justices on The Supreme Court. The court upheld race conscious admissions in 2016—but the court’s political leaning was in a different place then.
“This could really upend the Affirmative Action policies that universities have been working with for many decades now and could potentially overturn that precedent allowing these universities to consider race in their admissions.” said a CNN Justice Correspondent.
The Supreme Court announced it will re-examine race-based affirmative action criteria in college admissions, a move that could eliminate practices that have historically benefitted Black and Hispanic students. CNN’s @SchneiderCNN discusses. pic.twitter.com/Vt7ww7D5g8— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) January 24, 2022
It couldn’t be said clearer. If the SCOTUS finds race-conscious policies unwarranted it’ll change the fate of education in The United States. Universities using race to prop themselves up as beacons of justice will have to find vessels of virtue-signaling elsewhere.
Moreover, applicants faced with discrimination (for the color of their skin) would have those barriers removed if the SCOTUS rules in favor of Students For Fair Admissions. The students floated into universities because of their skin color—Affirmative Action’s claim to fame—will be better off, too.
Minority students enter the university with high interest in the STEM fields. Some data suggest more so than white students. But this original interest in STEM doesn’t hold water once graduation comes around. Minority students are more represented in the non-STEM fields in their graduating classes—representation not proportional to their initial interest. These students aren’t shuttled out the STEM departments because of racial bias. Rather, they leave voluntarily because Affirmative Action has placed them in a department they aren’t prepared for.
In their publication titled “The Role Of Ethnicity In Choosing And Leaving Science In Highly Selective Institutions” Elliot et al. concluded the reason behind these low retention rates in STEM was “the relatively low preparation of black aspirants to science in these schools, hence their poor competitive position in what is a highly competitive course of study.” Minority students aren’t ill-prepared because of intellectual capacity, they’re ill-prepared because they’re selected for melanin, not academic merit. If the academic rigor of an institution doesn’t change—but the admission policies change per student—the “Mismatched” students admitted into that institution based on that change are subject to a more arduous experience.
There’s an argument for Affirmative Action if mismatching has a net positive effect. Is graduating from an Ivy League school with a mediocre GPA and undesirable degree better than graduating from a state school where on performed well? It doesn’t seem to be. University of Chicago’s James Davis found GPA was more correlated with high-performance career choices at graduation instead of school prestige. Davis contributes much of this effect to the phycological impact of one’s self-assessment. An Ivy League degree may be fancy, but it looks the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
The students who would have gained admission into a mismatched school would, therefore, be declined if race-conscious admissions are abolished. But these would-be students don’t disappear like ephemeral ghosts. Nor are they doomed to a lack of education. If that were the case, removing Affirmative Action would carry a net negative for the minority student. Instead, these would-be Berkley students end up at colleges that are better suited for them.
Proposition 209 states “The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” Becoming the law of the land in 1997, the proposition killed race-based admissions in the state of California. This resulted in lowered minority attendance at the prestigious UC-Berkley.
Berkley lost about 10% of it’s non-Asian minority attendance, but, UC-Riverside and UC-Santa Cruz’s non-Asian minority attendance increased over 30%. The average GPA of black students at UC-San Diego saw major increases, too. Before Prop 209, only one black student had a GPA of over 3.5. One black student out of over 3200. Professor Gail Heriot has documented this case at The Heritage Foundation.
A 10% decrease of minority attendance at Berkley is a laughable consequence if GPA correlates with high-performance career choices and not institution prestige.
The push of Affirmative Action-styled admission policies only shows how race-baiters don’t care about the lives of the people they claim to. Minorities are only a mirage used to further a race-essentialism agenda.
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