Recently the Supreme Court decided it would hear a case that would determine once again if race is an acceptable qualification for college admissions. This case will revisit a 2003 decision that allowed the practice of affirmative action.
The court will hear the case of Abigail Noel Fisher, claiming that the University of Texas’s racially conscious policies for admissions violates her civil and constitutional rights. Obviously Fisher was not admitted to UT, but rather enrolled at Louisiana University and is set to graduate in the spring.
Many critics claim that her impending graduation voids her case; however, her lawyer as well as the court disagrees.
The majority of students accepted to University of Texas graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes. The remaining spaces are then filled with a pool of applicants where many factors are taken into account such as, race, financial background, extracurricular activities, admissions essays, as well as a host of other factors.
Texas’s policies before 2003 were against using race as a factor in admissions.
Due to a 2003 ruling, the state changed it polices with its incoming class of 2005.
Prior to 2005 only 21% of UT students were from the racial minority population, but they now make up 25% of all students. Although this may not seem like a huge increase, and probably follows the growth of minority populations the country.
According to Fox News, Brian Fitzpatrick, a Vanderbilt University law professor, believes that this case could have implications changing practices of affirmative action across the country. He also notes that Florida and California also use “top 10″ methods for admissions. Although California state law specifically prohibits race as a deciding factor.
“But the vast majority of schools that are selective are using affirmative action, though they don’t like to advertise it for fear of being sued,” he continued.
The problem with affirmative action policies is that they are necessary, yet inherently unfair. Our country has created the need for affirmative actions plans. For generations minority populations have been disillusioned and treated like second-class citizens. Their school districts are poor and falling apart, and their communities provide little opportunity. The only thing that can help this, is to better their education, so in turn affirmative action is born.
However, this practice is inherently unfair to the people in general. If a student graduates in the top 10% of their class and gets rejected by admissions while a minority student who only finished in the top 30% gets in, would that not be unfair. Then wouldn’t it be increasingly unfair if that student was admitted solely on the merit of their race. Should Universities not reward the student who worked harder?
Well first of all hard work is subjective. Second of all, we have created a system in which the average minority person cannot get ahead without help, because they were never provided with the same tools as other people. They would have to work exponentially harder than their non minority counterpart to achieve the same end.
The hurdles and obstacles placed in front of minority students are numerous. To actually help the minority population they need to go to college. Many believe that this should be done on their own merit, but this would leave a large portion of deserving and capable students without a place to study.
The country finds itself in a Catch-22. Do we take part in an inherently unfair practice that may negatively affect you and your children so that we can help people we don’t even know better themselves? Or do we continue to keep the minority population oppressed, and without the means to ever elevate itself? Either way somebody loses.