The fact that colleges and universities across the country have been using race as a factor in determining admissions is well-known. What may not be as well-known is the fact that these educational institutions have been acting under Obama-era guidelines which recommended the diversification of educational environments.
These legal recommendations are now set to be eliminated by the Trump Administration in an effort to ensure that those who work hard and earn good grades won’t be rejected from educational institutions based solely on their skin color and ethnic background.
Naturally, the move has generated a great deal of controversy. Trump Administration officials are making it clear that Obama’s guidelines go beyond Supreme Court precedent, and has led to educational institutions embracing forms of affirmative action that go beyond what is allowed by law.
In a DOJ statement issued in November of 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that the DOJ will no longer be issuing “guidance documents” such as the one issued by the Obama Administration regarding the use of race in the admissions process. At the time, the Attorney General rescinded over two dozen documents that fell under this category and made it clear that the DOJ would be reviewing all other guidance documents to see if these should be modified or repealed altogether. Even so, this has not stopped civil rights activists and former Obama administration members from accusing the Trump Administration of not caring about racial diversity on campus.
The recent decision is magnified by the fact that the Department of Justice is currently investigating Harvard University over the fact that numerous Asian-American students with top scores and impressive track records were denied admission in an attempt to ensure that the university campus was racially diverse. While Harvard concedes that many Asian-American applicants have higher marks and better scores from alumni interviews than members of many other racial groups, it argues that it is right to deny many of these students admission to the university based on what it calls “personal scores” used by admissions officials who are tasked with gauging an applicant’s character.
This controversial case could very well wind up in the Supreme Court, even though the court heard a similar case in 2016. At the time, the US Supreme Court said in its 4-3 decision that educational institutions could use race as a factor in determining admissions, but set down clear guidelines making it clear that the court was not endorsing affirmative action.
Naturally, Ivy League colleges and universities have a limited number of seats, which means that there will always be more potential students than there are available openings. There are a number of factors that educational institutions should consider when deciding on who to admit, however, because the main goal of these institutions is to offer a quality education. Factors directly related to academic excellence and potential should always be the most important considerations.
Attempting to maintain a diverse campus at the expense of denying deserving applicants a quality education benefits no one. A “quota system” in which members of a particular race are guaranteed a certain number of seats is simply unacceptable, and it is high time that the Departments of Education and Justice made it clear that educational institutions must judge applicants in a fair, equitable manner.
~ Conservative Zone