Affirmative Action, The New Segregation Essay

2274 words - 9 pages

Over the course of history many mistakes have been made. One in particular that had great significance to the future of the United States was segregation and later on desegregation; they both plaid a key role in communities, the work place and also in education. Public schools of all levels were segregated until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was passed as a result of the Brown vs. Board of Education court case of the same year (Alito, Samuel, Kennedy; Katel, “Sidebars” 851). This court case ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional and as a result many universities and businesses came up with affirmative action policies around1970 to help minorities prosper (Katel, “Introduction” 841).
Today Affirmative action policies are still in use by many higher education facilities as a way to get past those shamed upon years of segregation (“Keep Campuses”). Due to the reason that affirmative action is the route most often taken, with it usually comes the use of quotas (Katel, “The Issue” 843). These quotas represent specific goals that need to be met by these institutions and may range from five to seven percent of Black and Hispanic enrollments to sometimes as great as an eleven percent enrollment requirement of such ethnicities (Cooper, “Campus”; Nieli). Often times, African-Americans are also given an extra “advantage” because there is more of a priority in reaching the African-American quota than any other (Nieli). Surprisingly, not every ethnicity has a quota that needs to be reached by colleges and universities. Most often Caucasian and Asian applicants are left out of affirmative action plans when it comes to scholarships and admission opportunities (Nieli; Sander).
Usually the feeling of being left out leaves most with a feeling of unfairness and in the case of being denied a scholarship or admission opportunity due to affirmative action plans many students feel that there are racial preferences given to some applicants and not others (Sander). If the content of affirmative action is strongly analyzed these racial preferences can be seen. Thomas Espenshade, a Princeton sociologist, and Alexandria Radford collected SAT scores from over 250,000 applicants of highly competitive universities (Nieli). They found that African-American students would be accepted at these undisclosed universities if they had an SAT score of 1100 while Hispanics needed a 1230 SAT score, Caucasians a 1410 SAT score, and Asians a 1550 SAT score (Nieli). Thanks to this study we can easily see these racial preferences that most affirmative action non-supporters talk about. Why should a student that seems less academically qualified be accepted at a university while other students need much higher academic qualifications in order to be accepted?
While most, if not all, colleges deny having racial quotas the study above proves otherwise (Nieli). In exceptional cases, however, some higher education schools do admit to having used quotas or other...

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