Race as a Factor in College Acceptance

After a recent case involving two applicants to the University of Texas, our diversity blogger looks at the role of race in the college admission process.

Not too long ago, I found a post in The Wall Street Journal from February (don’t mind my lateness) discussing a relatively recent case—two Caucasian applicants to The University of Texas at Austin believe they were rejected from the school because of the favor of racial and ethnic minorities. The case is still open.

As I did more research on the topic, it seems that people are in high debate about whether or not the two applicants’ claims are justified. There may be some who think students have an advantage in the college admission decision if they’re a certain race. And, truly, colleges and universities in general strive to build the most well-rounded, diverse freshman class they can, based on the applications they receive. But the deliberation remains: should race play a role in college admission?

It’s a hard choice, and sometimes, admission directors have to face that situation or a similar one. The Texas applicants seem to have the mindset that minority students were accepted strictly because they’re of an underrepresented race, religion, etc. This perspective fails to observe the other qualities that likely put these students in the “yes” pile. Promoting equal opportunity is an important facet of higher education, and not just because all students stand to benefit from learning in a diverse environment. Minorities should be equally represented in institutions of high education, and fortunately, over one-third of the college student population is a minority—this mirrors the national population, according to the U.S. Department of Education. However, minorities are still less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their white counterparts, according to the American Council on Education. And minorities still experience huge economic disparities and are more likely to come from disadvantaged public school districts. Higher education can be seen as a path toward rectifying the situation. Should admission counselors then be more concerned with an applicant's socioeconomic background? Overall, however, if race is considered in the college application process, it only applies to a small part of the admission decision, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

College acceptances can be a really touchy subject, especially this time of the year as high school students may still be dealing with rejection from their top-choice schools. Admission decisions are made holistically, painstakingly, and change from year to year based on myriad factors—and you’ll never know exactly what determined all those acceptances at colleges across the country.

Regardless of the subject’s sensitivity, it’s important to bring to light the continued disparities in education, and more importantly, the public’s perspective on situations such as these. A student is not defined by skin color, religion, or even GPA; rather, the focus should be on each individual’s desire to attain a higher level of education.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
campus diversity college admissions college diversity diversity in college admissions University of Texas

About Maria Martinolich

Maria Martinolich

Maria Martinolich is a student in the College of Communication at Boston University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a concentration in History. She's heavily involved with BU’s TV station (BUTV10), radio station (WTBU), and Greek life and was also a Fox News intern. Maria is originally from Long Island, New York, and although she’s a Yankee fan, she loves being in Boston! She hopes to be a news anchor or the next Bob Costas and cover the Olympics someday.

Being of Greek, Croatian, and Polish descent, Maria has a lot of diversity in herself and loves learning about new cultures, organizations, ethnicities, causes, and people. Because she grew up appreciating all kinds of diversity—and also attends such a diverse university—she's extremely excited about writing for the College Diversity section of CollegeXpress!

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Samantha Fils-Aime

Samantha Fils-Aime

High School Class of 2019

I love that CollegeXpress has helped me find some scholarships to apply for but also helped me succeed in school with lots of tips. I also really like how they consistently email me about webinars that teach me a lot of things from the comfort of my home!

Jasmine

Jasmine

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me find the school I am currently attending by consistently sending me emails of other schools. This allowed me to do research on other schools as well as the one I am in now!

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

Farrah Macci

Farrah Macci

High School Class of 2016

CollegeXpress has helped me in many ways. For one, online searches are more organized and refined by filtering scholarships through by my personal and academic interests. Due to this, it has made searching for colleges and scholarships significantly less stressful. As a student, life can already get stressful pretty quickly. For me, it’s been helpful to utilize CollegeXpress since it keeps all of my searches and likes together, so I don’t have to branch out on multiple websites just to explore scholarship options.

Jenna

Jenna

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me greatly during my college search. I used their college search feature often and it helped in comparing schools I was looking at. Now that I’ve found a college the scholarship search feature is helping me find a way to find my college experience. CollegeXpress has many helpful features and resources for anyones college search, it truly is a wonderful tool for anyone entering college level!

College Matches