SURVEY: Americans support merit-based college admission practices
But time will tell if college administrators will adopt merit-based admission practices. For now, it seems more likely that neither law or majority opinion will stop colleges from using race as a factor.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote to Tufts University President Anthony Monaco. The quote was from the Boston Globe’s characterization of Moaco’s statement. The article has been updated to quote Monaco accurately.
With the Supreme Court recently banning the use of affirmative action in college admissions, some Americans are exploring alternative approaches to diversify university campuses, with some even supporting a shift toward income-based admissions.
A recent Intelligent.com survey involving 1,095 American respondents reveals that 1 in 3 Americans support the idea of college admissions taking an applicant’s socioeconomic status into account.
Support for using socioeconomic background hinges on the idea that lower-income students face greater educational challenges, lessening a poorer applicant’s chance of being admitted into college.
The use of merit, however, still outweighed alternative admission practices, as the following chart from the survey shows:
Those who do not believe that an applicant’s socioeconomic status should be considered wrote in, expressing the following: “I believe admissions should be based on achievement” and “For financial aid, yes, socioeconomic status should be considered, but admissions should be offered based on academic performance.”
But time will tell if college administrators will adopt merit-based admission practices.
For now, it seems more likely that neither law nor majority American opinion will stop colleges from using race as a factor.
In its statements following the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling, Harvard implied that it would skirt the Court’s decision, as Campus Reform reported in June.
Anthony Monaco, president of Tufts University, told The Boston Globe in May 2022 that his administration was strategizing to “[r]egardless of the court’s decision, we will continue to advance our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.”
Former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz also highlighted this issue in a recent column for The Hill, as previously reported. Ahead of the Court’s ruling, he pointed out that universities were strategizing to racial diversity campuses by setting what they refer to as “targets,” which effectively function as quotas.
These targets may act as floors for applicants of color and as ceilings for Asian Americans, Dershowitz noted.
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