Hannah Lalgie, Campus Reform
- Colleges across the country are altering admissions requirements and curriculum in order to improve “diversity” ratios on campus.
- These alterations typically hinge on the notion that students from underrepresented groups require extra help, or are less capable of achieving the same scores as their peers on standardized tests.
Colleges and universities are changing both admissions and curriculum requirements in order to create more ‘diversity’ within their student bodies. These changes often involve lowering of standards, and an implication that students from certain backgrounds cannot score as high on tests as their peers.
This year, the College Board ruled that it would not go forward with adding the proposed controversial “adversity score,” which would add points to a student’s SAT/ACT score based on his or her socioeconomic background. After criticism from many students and parents concerned not only about the implication that certain groups need to handicap their test scores but also about the creation of unfair disadvantages for students who don’t fit the ‘diversity’ bill, the CEO of College Board decided to instead use a system by a different name: “Landscape.” This program doesn’t assign an “adversity score,” but has the same goal of considering socioeconomic factors into SAT and ACT scores. The factors considered are housing stability, median family income, household structure, college attendance, education levels, and crime.
Harvard found itself in the middle of a major scandal this year, after being accused of bias against Asian Americans via the university’s affirmative action admissions program. A federal judge ultimately sided with Harvard and suggested that a mandatory bias training for the school’s admissions officers should be implemented to give every student a fair chance. Edward Blum, President of plaintiff group Students for Fair Admissions, says he will be taking this case to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as he believes Harvard does indeed have a history of discriminating against Asian American applicants in its effort to ensure the admission of applicants of other minority ethnicities.
This year Stanford pushed a separate physics course to ensure retention of “underrepresented” physics majors. The course is a modified version of a standard required course, with additional class time and “learning assistants” hired to offer extra help with coursework. The school stated that “students from underrepresented groups often don’t have the same level of preparation from high school as their majority peers,” and that “the difference in preparation is large enough that it may lead students to drop out of the major but small enough that the kind of support offered by this course can be enough to keep them in.”
To increase diversity, Colorado College has decided to make it “optional” to submit SAT/ACT scores. “Standardized test scores do not always reflect the academic potential of students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said one professor. The school suggests these tests limit minorities, and therefore that removing this requirement makes it easier to reach those with a disadvantaged background. By removing the SAT/ACT requirement, the school claims that their numbers of freshmen have doubled. These numbers do not say, however, the academic success the institution is experiencing with this change.
The man at the center of this years’ college admissions scandal, Rick Singer, reportedly not only helped celebrities get their children into college by lying about athletic involvement but also instructed them to lie about their ethnicities. If he was working with a white family, Singer would reportedly tell them to lie about their race on college applications to give that student a better competitive advantage.
“Mr. Singer’s actions exemplified the pernicious effect of racial preferences on the college admissions process,” said Dion J. Pierre, a conservative research associate, adding that that Asian and Caucasian Americans have less edge than the other races while millions of dollars in grants and scholarships are given to students solely based on skin color.