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College admission–to consider race or not

Steve Blog College admission decisions by universities are fraught with considerable angst—especially at America’s elite institutions.

And President Trump is making the process more uncertain as he challenges the protocol established by his predecessor Barack Obama that argued for race as a consideration in college admission.

The Supreme Court upheld that Obama doctrine three years ago in Fisher v University of Texas at Austin

With so many equally qualified applicants of all sex, gender, race, creed and national origin, it is nearly impossible to decide who to invite and who to reject.

Of course, consideration should be given to persons whose backgrounds differ from the traditional college student. But how to do it fairly is the challenge admission officers confront with.

I would give zero advantage to legacy applicants (whose relatives graduated from the same college) and more weight to those who will be the first in their families to attend college.

However, a greater problem is the unacknowledged truth. All universities have a poor record of helping students of diverse backgrounds succeed on campus. They too often lack necessary support systems, have too few similar peers, and feel isolated or lost in the institutional bureaucracy that is strong on public relation promises but week on actual performance.

In the end how you support all students at your university is equally important as whom you admit.


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