Has anyone read the article about the U of Michigan's admission policy (the one that Bush is challenging as unconstitutional)? Basically they use a point system. Out of 150 points, a student can earn 20 points for being from a visible minority group. On the one hand I think this is unfair, on the other hand, there are a lot of other points. A student can earn 110 points for academics alone. A scholarship athlete gets 20 points. A person (regardless of race) gets 20 points for being from a low socioeconomic class. A man who applies for nursing gets 5 points
. Legacies get points, etc.
I do believe diversity is a valuable thing for colleges and universities to strive for, but I have never thought of affirmative action in a positive light, mainly because of my impression that it allows unqualified minorities to jump ahead of qualified candidates. After reading that article though I have changed a bit, because the applicants who got the 20 points still had to get a lot more and prove that they were qualified to go to that school.
I was very surprised to see that the program Texas instituted when Bush was governor to get rid of "race based quotas" was actually worse for qualified non-minority students and DOES allow less qualified people to universities over more qualified people. The Texas plan was that the top 10% of students from each school were guaranteed admission to state colleges, but this effectively meant that students from lower quality schools who were less qualified would get in before a good student from a tougher school. I tend to favor economically based points because students who are poor and go to inner city or rural schools are at a bigger disadvantage than a rich monority student who goes to a private prep school in a large city.
So what's the best answer?