Required by federal law. Colleges are required to ask but you are not required to answer. It provides information that is used for government reports on those attending college and provides records that indicate whether a college is or is not discriminating.
As to your other question -- whether race shuld be a factor in admission -- the Supreme Court has determined that race legally can be a factor considered but states or colleges can choose not to. Many who believe they are "more qualified" are outraged by any system that considers race as a factor and are certain they are not racist.
Last edited by drusba; 11-05-2011 at 06:49 AM.