Why race should be considered in college admissions


Schools such as Harvard, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of North Carolina have voiced their support for using race as a factor in college admissions.

With Harvard College´s win against the Students for Fair Admissions on Nov. 17, the question of using race in deciding college admissions is again brought to the main stage. There are many benefits to including race as a factor in college admissions, and it is paramount that this vital step of the admissions process is upheld.

College admissions offices constantly promote the idea of “holistic admissions,” which means they look at the statistics of a person in the context of their background. Adding an extra data point with race is vital in providing this context, as unfortunately in America, students of different races are vastly underrepresented in higher education. Historically, students of color were not allowed into American colleges and universities until the 1960s, with Southern states such as Alabama being the largest opponents of school integration. Now, the University of Alabama offers scholarships to high-achieving black students, a stark contrast to their policy just 60 years ago.

Many opponents of the consideration of race in college admissions say that it unfairly raises the bar for some, yet lowers the bar for others. However, groups such as the American Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP have argued in support of the current admissions process, saying it not only helps to fight racial imbalance in education but it also helps every student on a university campus, regardless of race. Having a wealth of different backgrounds, cultures, and past experiences creates a well-rounded, socially aware individual and campus.

The consideration of race in college admissions has helped thousands of black students across the country break decades of socioeconomic barriers. Students of color were not allowed onto many college campuses for the majority of these schools’ lifetimes, and the consideration of race is one step on the road to reversing generational imbalances in this country.