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"Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

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Replies to: "Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    ^ Cornell used to do just that. Not sure if they still do.
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,159 Senior Member
    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 2,063 Senior Member
    Princeton has the Freshman Scholars Institute: https://fsi.princeton.edu/
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 582 Member
    So no spoilers? Ok, I won't be the first.
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    edited February 8
    Affirmative action is often sold as helping underprivileged, low-SES kids who have faced enormous obstacles, etc. Note carefully who gets the only acceptance and the socioeconomic conditions he apparently enjoys.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    edited February 8
    @SatchelSF I have taken a look at the data and have a few comments. Not surprised to see that income is not "perfectly correlated" but there is still a significant correlation which along with some other metrics (like parental education) becomes even more significant. I still believe the IQ/SAT correlation found is outdated (because the SAT is an easier test today), but I am not arguing with the original results. I also am not on board with the fact that SAT Prep is insignificant in increasing scores (I have seen enough with my own eyes to dispute that finding). The only aside with that one is what I have seen (minorities working with testing prep books and tutors) looks to show the highest rate of return based on the data presented. The data that was the most shocking from my point of view was the amount of African American students in each decile by GPA at elite law schools (#20 table 5.1). Although the sample size was small and the data is outdated (things could have changed a lot over the last 26 years), to show that 51.6% of African Americans are at the bottom decile and that only 8% of the African American students are in the top 5 deciles of the data stings. If African American students were at the bottom of their class at elite undergrad institutions instead of elite law schools in those same numbers, that would make those schools less attractive as a destination for my family and would make me question how large of a racial preference was given in admissions decisions. I would also like to see the GPAs at each decile, because inflated GPAs at each decile would lessen the impact of the data presented.

    Personal Note... My son got into Carnegie Mellon SAMS yesterday and his summer experience (whether at SAMS or if he gets into MITES and chooses that program) will probably guide whether he applies to any elite institutions. But I promise to keep my cool if someone 'infers' that race was the reason for any future admissions decision that come his way (But my wife is a different story).
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 582 Member
    I liked the father of the accepted student's comment - "this isn't a meritocracy". But he did say that before he knew the decision.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    @Dolemite I think that those programs can make a big difference in outcomes. It would be nice if Princeton published some data on how those students do in comparison to other Princeton students. GT's data that was presented at an Minority student admissions event last year showed very promising data.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,294 Senior Member
    @ChangeTheGame - congrats to your S on SAMS! My D looked hard at it but she wound up doing something else that summer. I thought the SAMS program looked really interesting. Pitt is a cool city and CMU has a great location in it.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    @OHMomof2 Thank you very much for the congrats.

    "Why could they not work in tandem with AA, though? Why either/or?"

    I am sure some of the methods I mentioned are currently being used with other innovative techniques and AA. I have asked on this thread before about what would have to happen to say that AA has run its course in America. The answers I have received have been open ended where AA could run forever so I have been hoping that someone who believes that AA is still needed could come up with a metric, a timeline, or any possible outcome besides the courts knocking down the practice. Because a big part of the problem is that there is no end in sight for the practice of racial preferences when I talk to others who oppose the practice. I am an opponent because I believe that the only way to racial progress/unity long term and to improve achievement in URM students is to remove race, although URMs would pay the price (especially early on). No method that I have seen would get URMs back to the numbers of students currently selected using racial preferences, but I can see the writing on the wall. The current road will eventually lead to the SCOTUS knocking racial preferences down. And if that happens without creative alternative solutions (that don't involve race), the number of URM students at elite institutions would be decimated.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 2,906 Senior Member
    I am not a fan of AA either as its simply causes divisiveness and gives an advantage to someone who was simply born into a particular race. I am a huge fan of social mobility however, and would love to see AA go away in favor of those who have been disadvantaged by their socio/economic status regardless of race. Maybe that is starting to happen.
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 617 Member
    "Maybe that is starting to happen."

    Actually, it has been happening for the last ten years. Elite schools have all advertised how much increase in percentage of their freshmen is First Gen and low income each cycle; At Stanford for example, the First Gen is 17.9% of the freshman class. If you include low income the FGLI percentage at elite schools is probably north of 30%. The FGLI was not designed to replace AA and probably never will.

    To proponents of AA as long as the proportion of racial representation does not reflect those in general population there is need for the continuation or creation of AA. I just hope that someday people will get used to the fact that there will be disproportionate representation of race/ethnicity in many human endeavors and there is just no way to social-engineer the outcomes.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,294 Senior Member
    @ChangeTheGame ...someone who believes that AA is still needed could come up with a metric, a timeline, or any possible outcome besides the courts knocking down the practice

    The metric I hear most often is representation proportional to population. Or population of graduating HS seniors.

    Something like the process as it pertains to women who were under-represented and then achieved parity (and beyond, now, to the point that they are penalized in admissions to most colleges, except those with "tech" as a focus).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,567 Senior Member
    edited February 8
    OHMomof2 wrote:
    The metric I hear most often is representation proportional to population. Or population of graduating HS seniors.

    What is likely the actual metric for any individual college is that the racial/ethnic mix of its students is such that it is reasonably attractive to the most desirable range of potential applicants, donors, and employers hiring graduates, while not attracting negative publicity or lawsuits or being seen as unfriendly, unfair, or undesirable to some potential applicants, donors, or employers. Public colleges also have to consider general political pressures on the subject in the state government and voting population (or they may be required to have specific policies by the state government).
    OHMomof2 wrote:
    Something like the process as it pertains to women who were under-represented and then achieved parity (and beyond, now, to the point that they are penalized in admissions to most colleges, except those with "tech" as a focus).

    Colleges often believe that most students prefer to have an evenly gender-balanced group of students to attend college with, and often believe that such preference tends to override any fairness complaints by those of the disadvantaged gender.

    Obviously, more selective colleges tend to have more ability to manipulate racial/ethnic and gender ratios since they have plenty of applicants with top-end academic credentials, unlike less selective colleges that have to take what they can get in terms of academic credentials. But the more selective colleges tend to face more marketing pressure, since applicants are more likely to have more choices, unlike those who may apply to less selective colleges.

    In some cases, it may be impossible for a given college to satisfy all of these competing marketing goals with respect to student demographics.
  • tpike12tpike12 Registered User Posts: 305 Member
    @OHMomof2

    Representation proportioned to population? Can you imagine?

    That would mean:
    Asian 5%
    Jewish 2%


    At Harvard it would open up around 30% of the slots. At Yale and Princeton around 25%.

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