Poll: Americans Oppose Race As A Factor in College Admissions Decisions

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/02/21/poll-americans-oppose-race-as-a-factor-in-college-admissions-decisions/

By Casey Harper
The Center Square

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether it should be legal to use race as a factor in college admissions, new polling shows Americans oppose the idea.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 62 percent of Americans oppose higher education institutions using race as a factor when deciding whom to admit. The majority of Americans favor diversity in higher education, but they don’t support using affirmative action policies to obtain it.

The analysis found 52 percent of minority respondents surveyed said they opposed using race as a factor.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College case by June 2023. A group called Students for Fair Admissions filed suits in 2014 against Harvard and against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over their race-based admissions policy, pointing out they hurt other students. 

Harvard and Carolina are the oldest private and public schools, respectively, in the country.

As The Center Square previously reported in October 2022, the schools argue that these policies have become common in their field.

“In recent years, surveys have reported that 41.5 percent of universities, and 60 percent of universities that admit 40 percent or fewer of applicants, consider race to some degree,” Harvard said in a legal filing.

The federal Supreme Court ruled in the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger that colleges may consider race in admissions to help diversify their campuses.

“But public schools have no legitimate interest in maintaining a precise racial balance, and they have no compelling interest in preventing minor dips in average SAT scores,” Students for Fair Admissions, a group that has led both challenges, wrote in a court filing. “The same Fourteenth Amendment that required public schools to dismantle segregation after Brown cannot be cowed by the diktats of university administrators. If California and Michigan can maintain elite public universities without sorting applicants by race, then North Carolina can, too.”

The group argues that the previous court decisions allowing race as an admissions factor should be overturned.

UNC defended itself in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on October 31, 2022, pointing out that it creates diversity across a range of metrics, including admitting more veterans and rural students.

Critics argue race-based affirmative action policies are inherently discriminatory and wrong.

“Since 2014, over 20,000 students, parents, and others have joined our membership to help restore colorblind principles to our nation’s schools, colleges and universities,” Students for Fair Admissions said on its web site.



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