How affirmative action bans make selective colleges, and the workforce, less diverse

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 public domain

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on October 31, 2022 in two lawsuits filed by a group opposing affirmative action on college admissions. Here, Natasha Warikooa sociology professor at Tufts University and author of the recently released “Is Affirmative Action Fair?: The Myth of Equality in College Admission,” shares insights on how the racial and ethnic makeup of student organizations at selective colleges and universities will change if the Supreme Court decides to ban affirmative action.

What’s at stake in the case against positive action?

Currently, many selective colleges consider race when making decisions about which students should be admitted. In several cases since 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that it is constitutional to do so to ensure diversity on campus.

A ruling in favor of Students for Fair Admissions, the plaintiffs in the case, would require that all colleges — both private and public — no longer consider race when making admissions decisions.

Ever since nine states already have affirmative action bans, it’s easy to know what will happen if affirmative action is banned. University enrollment studies in those states show that enrollment of black, Hispanic, and Native American students will long-term decline.

Not only higher education enrollment will be affected. A ban on affirmative action will eventually lead to fewer degrees for black, Hispanic and Native American students.

One study found that medical school enrollment for underrepresented minorities decreased by an average of 5% in eight states with affirmative action bans. Wages will also be affected: A recent study estimates that among Californian Hispanic young adults who applied to University of California colleges after the state’s ban on affirmative action, earnings were 5% less than for Hispanics who applied before the ban. The evidence suggests that after the ban, applicants attended lower-ranked colleges and were consequently less likely to graduate, lowering their wages as graduates.

What do people regularly do wrong about positive action?

Many assume that affirmative action plays a greater role in admissions decisions than it actually does. Some worry that the policy will lead to colleges admitting students who cannot meet the academic requirements of the colleges they have been admitted to. This one “mismatch theory‘, as it is sometimes called, has turned out to be untrue.

Research shows black students admitted through affirmative action are more likely to continue earning advanced degrees than black students with comparable academic achievement, but whose admission was not aided by affirmative action.

And the 1998 California ban led to: fewer STEM degrees obtained by black and Hispanic students in colleges in California. This was especially true for those with weaker academic preparation – that is, those most negatively affected by ‘mismatch’.

How will things change when affirmative action ends?

Based on what happened in states? where affirmative action has already been banned, there will be sharp declines in the number of black, Hispanic and Native American students at selective colleges, especially those that are the most selective.

Related Post

Students who end up in less selective colleges will less likely to graduate. That’s because lower-ranked colleges generally have fewer resources to support student success and as a result tend to have lower graduation rates

.

Ending affirmative action will make it more difficult to increase the percentage of professionals and leaders from minority backgrounds. This is because, as research has shown, affirmative action has increased the number of black college graduates and, in turn, increased the number of black professionals with advanced degrees.

When such a setback occurs, it comes at a time when many organizations and companies pledge support for racial justice and a increase diversity among their staff and leadership

.

What’s your book’s main takeaway?

In general, I believe that admissions should be less about who goes to college and more about what students will do once they graduate. I believe this requires less emphasis on individual achievement – and more emphasis on the broader mission of the university. That mission includes preparing people from a wide range of ethnic and racial backgrounds to make contribute to society. Positive action, I argue, is a tool to do just that.


Positive action bans had ‘devastating impact’ on diversity in medical schools, study finds


Provided by The Conversation

This article was republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Quote: How a Ban on Positive Action Makes Selective Colleges and Workforce Less Diverse (2022, Oct. 7) retrieved Oct. 7, 2022 at https://phys.org/news/2022-10-affirmative-action-colleges-workforce-diverse . html

This document is copyrighted. Other than fair dealing for personal study or research, nothing may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

Jacky

Recent Posts

Ukraine can win against disorganised Russian army: Ex-NATO chief

Brussels, Belgium - Ten months after the Russian war in Ukraine, the war of words…

1 min ago

Bear Grylls makes a visit to Kyiv, and offers some hints for a new programme with Zelensky

Zelensky joins Bear Grylls survival academy! Former SAS soldier visits Kyiv and hints at new…

12 mins ago

Inside Germany’s miserable World Cup ending: A ‘s*** mood’ and silence in the dressing room

The aftermath of Germany's miserable exit from the World Cup in Qatar has been exposed…

14 mins ago

US designates members of Pakistan armed groups as ‘terrorists’

The designation includes leaders of the South Asia-based al-Qaeda branch and the so-called Pakistani Taliban.Islamabad,…

16 mins ago

Shamima Begun insists that her jihadi husband is happy to have them married

Shamima Begum's husband insists their marriage was a happy one and they even spent time…

18 mins ago

During power cuts, Switzerland will ban electric vehicles from the roads

Switzerland will ban the use of electric cars for 'non-essential' travel if the country runs…

24 mins ago