Portola High School

The fairness of college admissions

Affirmative action: everybody has heard of it before when it comes to college admissions, but is it really fair? There lies a fine line between creating diversity and turning away more-than-qualified applicants in order to meet racial quotas, and I believe that it truly is not fair when applicants are stripped of years of passion and hard work and are degraded to nothing more than skin color.

Affirmative action was first introduced by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 with the intent to ensure equal opportunity for all. However, times have changed since then. Affirmative action in context of college admissions has flipped from giving everyone an equal opportunity to prioritizing certain races over others.

Take Harvard, for example. Harvard has recently been under fire after its Asian American applicants were proven to be voted lower on traits that contribute to a “positive personality,”  even though they scored higher on standardized tests and receive better grades, according to the New York Times. This evidence lies nothing short of racist, and the fact that Asian Americans are being punished for being a certain skin color.

What I am saying is not meant to be racist, or to say that those who were admitted to top colleges did not deserve their success. What I am trying to say, rather, is that there must be a better solution to ensure that top students receive what they have worked endlessly for.

Although affirmative action has been banned in eight states, my home state of California included, there is no doubt that race is still an underlying factor in admissions. Working toward an application where questions about race are not required will ensure prospective college students will get what they deserve.

What admissions officers fail to see is that we are more than just applicants. We are more than just a skin color. We are more than our parents’ income. We are people, and we deserve better.

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