Why the US Should Implement Bans on Racial Preferences or Affirmative Action for Universities

Why the US Should Implement Bans on Racial Preferences or Affirmative Action for Universities

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Affirmative action or “racial preferences” are a hotly contested issue in the United States. For over four decades many states’ public universities have used race in the awarding of admissions preferences for minority applicants. Ten states have banned the use of racial preferences in university admissions including Michigan where on April 22, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a voter approved ban on affirmative action. This policy paper attempts to influence state legislatures and officials to adopt similar bans in their home states not because the United States no longer suffers from racism and bias, although this bias has been significantly reduced since 1960’s, but on the grounds that research proves racial preferences in universities, especially selective ones, actually hurt minority students in a phenomenon known as “mismatch.” Mismatch is where minority students are admitted to select universities based on broad racial preferences even though they are not academically prepared. These large racial preferences backfire against most recipients and cause many to fail academically when they would have been more likely to succeed at a less-competitive school. The consequences in terms of cost in time, money, and loss of self-confidence are dire.

We will observe the effects and outcomes on minorities from California’s Proposition 209, which banned the use of affirmative action in admissions at the enormous University of California system and why states ought to adopt similar measures. It is the author’s sincere desire to influence state policy makers to ban the use of racial preferences, ideally through voter referendums, in public universities vis-à-vis admissions and that preference points ...


... middle of paper ...


...Apr. 2014.

Affirmative Action: State Action." Affirmative Action: State Action. National Conference of State Legislators, Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .


Sander, Richard, and Stuart Taylor, Jr. “Class, Race, and the Targeting of Preferences.” Mismatch. New York: Basic, 2012. 254. Print
Note: Authors’ calculations of data obtained from the College Board.

A Washington Post/Kaiser poll from 2001: Washington Post/Kaiser/Harvard, “Racial Attitudes Survey,” March 8-April 22, 2001, http://www.washingotnpost.com/wp-srv/nation/sidebars/polls/race071101.htm.


Hurley, Lawrence. "U.S. Top Court Upholds Michigan Ban on College Affirmative Action." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .

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