ADVANTAGES

In completing the simulation, each member of our seminar developed an individual opinion about how the College should make decisions. I believe that a race-conscious admissions policy is the best way to create a consistently good class. If an admissions team were to consider only merit in their decisions, they would most likely end up with a class of white, upper-class, private school students who were able to afford tutors, SAT prep classes, and expensive club sports teams as well as full tuition to a college. Although these students would be numerically ideal applicants, they would be a homogenous class with little to offer culturally. If an admissions team were to use a class-conscious model, the typical student would likely come from lower-income or urban communities and have less impressive qualifications than their merit-based counterparts. While this would provide heretofore impossible opportunities for many students, it would also put a burden on elite institutions who remain competitive through statistics like the average SAT score and GPA of their students. Colleges and universities would also need to increase their financial aid budget to accommodate for their high numbers of expensive students. In a race-conscious system, however, a college would be more likely to strike a balance between cultural diversity and academic prestige. By factoring in race, the college would provide opportunities to many lower-class applicants, because minority applicants are statistically more likely to come from low-income families. At the same time, having an impressive minority presence in a student population is a competitive and necessary statistic for elite schools. So says Mitchell Stevens in his book , “a racially heterogeneous student body is a marker of a school’s national reach and caliber today” (Stevens 143). Students see diversity as a sign of prestige, so from a marketing standpoint it is critical that a student body be diverse. By factoring in race, admissions officers simultaneously create opportunities for minority students while increasing the prestige and marketability of their school: it’s a win-win.

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