Affirmative action can be defined as action taken to compensate for past unfairness in the education of minorities. The current system of affirmative action allows universities to admit applicants from certain ethnic and minority groups with lower credentials. The main purpose of affirmative action is to produce a diverse campus population that is comparable to today’s society. The use of race as a facto by which someone is admitted to college, in the long run, will compromise the quality of the university.
Implicating affirmative action to solve the problem of diversity on today’s campuses has led to the creation of problems. The discrimination against Caucasian and Asian American students along with the tolerance of lower quality work produced by African American students and other minority students is an example of the problems caused by Affirmative Action. Although affirmative action intends to do good, lowering the standards by which certain racial groups are admitted to college is not the way to solve the problem of diversity in America’s universities.
The condition of America’s public schools is directly responsible for the poor academic achievement of minority children. Instead of addressing educational discrepancies caused by poverty and discrimination, we are merely covering them up and pretending they do not exist, and allowing ourselves to avoid what it takes to make a dent in them–augmenting Head Start, improving high schools, and spending more equally among schools (Jacoby 36). The implication of racial preference has given high schools permission to replace the tradition of achievement with a culture of entitlement.
The feeling of the absence of enthusiasm for achievement is illustrated by John O’Sullivan editor of the National Review when he said, Restoring high standards in high school will take time; but it will not even begin until the corrupting influence of racial preference is removed. By not admitting underqualified minority students to America’s premier universities, for example, Stanford, they have not been sent into exile. There are an enormous amount of top-quality schools which they can attend and still achieve their dreams. Students admitted under the affirmative action plan are accepted with SAT scores 200 to 300 points lower than that of their Asian American and Caucasian competitors. The undergraduate admission process at the University of California at Los Angles is based on two standards.
These standards are academic ratings which are test scores and grades second are the supplemental ratings. These see the student’s socioeconomic or educational disadvantages. UCLA then ranked each prospective student from 1, the highest, to 6, the lowest. UCLA accepts 40 to 60 percent of its students strictly on academic premises, but they do not achieve desirable diversity with these students. The second group of students accepted contains those whose combine academic and supplemental ratings give them an overall high score. In this group students with a low academic and high supplemental rating could still be acceptors.
Of the 6,801 students accepted on their academic criteria alone, only 77, or about 1 percent were African American. Of Asian American and Caucasian students 81 percent had an academic ranking of one or two. For the African American and Mexican applicants, less than 13 percent of those admitted had an academic ranking of 1 or 2. UCLA is significantly lowering the standards by which they are accepting minorities in order to achieve diversity. It is ludicrous to try to establish racial report nationalism in university entrance as a test of a system’s excellence. The most important thing is the number of students who graduate with good marks. Once admitted, the performance among affirmative action students and other students differs.
Among white and Asian American students, at least 80 percent of them graduate within 5 years. Less than half of the enrolled African American students graduate in that amount of time. In the class of 1990 admitted at UCLA, the average Caucasian grade was just above a B while the African American average was just above a C. It is unreasonable to think that the students admitted through affirmative action will be bel to produce the same quality work that the better-qualified students can.
Studies done at the department of education show that Hispanics will leave college early due to scholastic pressure at a 2:1 ratio compared to Asian Americans and whites. Admitting students with lower high school grades and SAT scores decreases the chance of acceptance by better-qualified applicants. The admittance of laws qualified students produces anger and frustration among students who have worked hard to uphold demanding standards and expect the university to do the same. Accepting these students with lower scores there is an overall effect on society. Students who are not as qualified will produce inferior doctors, lawyers, and professional people.
In an attempt to launch more minorities into the professional world, affirmative action is producing a workforce of laws qualified individuals. As students progress through the college experience and move on to professional universities and graduate schools, academic ability becomes the dominant criterion. The use of affirmative action in these situations is obsolete. After 4 years of college, the students should have a chance to catch up. Although antiquated, affirmative action is still predominant in acceptance to medical and law schools. The competition for acceptance to medical school is fierce. Students who were a product of affirmative action were admitted with college grades below 3.0 and MCAT scores under the 16th percentile.
Caucasian or Asian American students with the same credentials would have been turned away. Over 30 years ago 99 percent of students in the United States medical schools were non-Hispanic whites and now 33 percent of the students enrolled in the nation’s 125 allopathic medical schools are to racial and ethnic minority groups. Currently, there are 3 applicants for every United States medical school to which the most qualified are not always awarded. The same pattern is seen in admission to law school. Students who are black and Hispanic are more likely to be accepted with LSAT scores below the 19th percentile and college grades less than 3.3.
A student in the Georgetown Law School was looking into the admission files and discovered that there was in fact a reasonable gap in the scores. The White and Asian American applicants had higher scores than the African American and other minority groups. Recent studies show that without the implication of affirmative action minority enrollment in law schools would drastically drop. The standards for non-affirmative action acceptance at the LTT Law School were s follows: a median LSAT score in the 93rd percentile and a median college GPA of 3.5 or higher. The number of minority students who would have been accepted without the use of affirmative action is less than 17 percent Mexican American and very few black.
Minorities accepted through the use of affirmative action also show inferiority in their performance in law school. A fewer number of African Americans and Puerto Ricans passed the bar than did Whites. If these students are unable to make the grades in professional schools after having 4 years of college to catch up, then perhaps they are out of their league. Affirmative action admits students from chosen racial groups that are not as qualified as their competitors. Discriminating against other students is not the way to solve the growing problem of ethnic diversity.
The students who are admitted through the use of affirmative action generally receive a lower grade, and a smaller percentage of them go on to graduate. With a widespread problem of diversity and the double standards involved in choosing minority students for college, accepting more African American students does not solve the problem. Affirmative action is not the solution; it is a way of ignoring the problems with America’s educational departments. The government needs to initiate the improvement of precollege education and eliminate affirmative action.