Admissions policies that take class into account, rather than race, are getting a renewed push as a win-win solution. The contention is that they more fully serve the goal of diversity in higher education and provide a progressive way to resolve an enduring conflict that has now returned to the Supreme Court in a case about race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin.
But a crucial premise of the class-over-race argument is wrong. It is not possible to maintain the same level of racial diversity in higher education while applying a race-blind admissions policy. Class-based admissions generally reduce the number of black and Hispanic students. To maintain or build the levels of racial diversity on selective campuses, it is necessary to maintain race-conscious admissions.
While there are higher shares of blacks and Hispanics among low-income Americans, their smaller shares of the whole population mean that whites make up by far the largest portion of low-income families. As Alan Krueger, now head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and his co-authors wrote in 2006, “The correlation between race and family income, while strong, is not strong enough to permit the latter to function as a useful proxy for race in the pursuit of diversity.” (New York Times)
Easy Related Posts
Inspiring Young Men from Minority Backgrounds to Code
On a sign that adorns the premises of the vibrant New York technology charity, All ...read more
For Liberal Arts Colleges, Enrolling Minority Students a Challenge
At top-ranked liberal arts colleges, there have been some gains and some setbacks in creating ...read more
HBCUs Divided over Free Community College Plan
Black college educators and supporters are sharply split over whether President Obama’s proposal to offer ...read more
The Enduring Relevance of HBCUs in America
An ongoing debate at the collegiate and legislative levels across the U.S. has been about ...read more