@GSAthwal perhaps you would like to strike down all pooling? What other factors come into play when forming a class? How about gender? Many schools have more female than male students. If they rule AA unconstitutional, it is for ALL classifications (like Gender).
Perhaps we should simply have a college admissions clearinghouse, where everybody submits their application/stats for ranking, and a ranking of their preferred school. Top ranked student gets first pick, and work down the line. As you move down the line, students end up at their third, fifth, or 100th choice. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Never mind that you'll have arguments over how to weigh the experience at each high school, or the value of high SAT vs. GPA. The top schools will all get the most qualified students.
Maybe we should require colleges to pick their athletes from among those who qualify this way too. Could make for some interesting teams. The same with the school of music - so sorry nobody has played the oboe for the past 8 years, perhaps you'll have to convince one of the new students to start?
If students who are not capable of succeeding are being admitted, then that should stop, but how can that be completely quantified? Even some of the best looking candidates don't succeed. If selecting from an otherwise qualified pool of applicants, colleges (and employers, and anyone else) should be free to choose as they wish.
GSAthwal: FYI, I'm in a group that in peoples' calculus will be negatively affected. I'm Chinese-American. But I also value the fact that my alma mater crafted a class where the sole determinant was not GPA/scores/income level. I'm very glad they set aside slots for athletes, international students, musicians, ethnic minorities, etc.
I made it in with SATs about the 30th percentile of my HYP alma mater's entering class. I'm sure that there were many other Asian-american applicants that year that had better stats than me yet were rejected. However, I'm sure my "story" was what got me in. Yep. I was a beneficiary of holistic admissions. But not in the way you might surmise.
If anyone wants to apply to a pure meritocracy evaluation system, they certainly are not without options. As a matter of fact, +80% of American colleges practice this. Send in your transcripts and scores -- voila. Your answer is given.
But you can't have your cake and eat it too. The so-called "top schools" like Cornell et. al. get criticized for their murky holistic evaluation methods and "quotas" or set-asides or affirmative action -- or in my earlier posts, "pooling". People decry the unfairness of it and are ready to charge the ramparts to get them to alter the very method they chose to get them the great student bodies they possess. They want them to turn into Seoul University or IIT. Cornell's trustees and alumni think otherwise.
And what is the consequence? Do we see the holistic-admissions schools plummeting in the USNWR rankings (which I agree, is trash)? No. They are firmly entrenched. As a matter of fact, the so-called 2nd tier schools are adopting the holistic model in order to rise in the rankings.
Reality is that the tide is going away from you, GSAthwal. Like I posted elsewhere: make your case to the colleges. State your claim. Argue your point. If there is a listening ear, then you'll be considered. Maybe the Supreme Court's ruling may alter the landscape. Who knows?
How I see it is that the colleges have considered it already and feel their path is the correct one. If USNWR reflects the greater society's view of "worth" then they concur.
I'll add this: those of you who are decrying pooling. What then do you say about US colleges who place quotas on International acceptances? Isn't the limitation on this sub-set an "unfair" limit? Why shouldn't the best and brightest of India, Singapore, China, Russia and S Korea have equal access? Shouldn't their 2360 SAT applicants be able to nudge out your local valedictorian?
The # of seats at any school is a finite number. It's a zero sum game. Allot more seats to one group, you gotta take it away from another.
I don't see people carrying the banner of "MORE International students at Ivy schools". But if a legacy, URM or athlete gets to compete amongst other legacies, URMs or athletes -- they are immediately targeted for "taking away" the seat of a "more qualified" White or Asian applicant. Inconsistent much?
WOW, as an African American female first generation college student, I did not have many resources but with practice I managed to score over 2000 on the SAT. Please do not rely on your race to get you admitted into college OP, succeeding at Cornell if you do happen to get in will not come easy, nothing in life is easy.