Affirmative Action - Should Race Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2310 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 11  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race


Whether or not affirmative action programs should remain a factor in college admissions remains unclear. Those in favor of affirmative action point out that minorities are terribly underrepresented in many of the nation's top level universities, and that action must be taken to correct this under presentations. Supporters also point out that favoritism is showed many different types of students including cherished athletes, thus the same favor should be afforded minority students.

In addition supporters note that a diverse campus is one that is most conducive to higher learning and exchange. All of these points are valid. However on the opposing side the points are equally valid. In some sense affirmative action programs do promote an atmosphere or at the very minimum tolerance for reverse discrimination. An equally qualified and well talented white student may be declined admission simply based on the color of their skin.

The argument that quotas result from affirmative action programs is one that is weak, as most universities do not have a strict quota system that they follow. Still this does not mean that reverse discrimination does not occur. Affirmative action programs may also open the potential for a slightly less qualified candidate to be considered over a more qualified candidate, which should cause one to question its logic.

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It is noted in the research that the pool of applicants among ethnically diverse students is relatively slim. One positive effect affirmative action programs have had is that colleges have embarked on more aggressive minority recruiting campaigns.

Perhaps the true answer to under representation is encouraging universities to seek out a more diverse candidate pool by utilizing more advanced recruiting techniques rather than affirmative action campaigns. By nature many programs that are labeled affirmative action have a negative connotation associated with them. A better approach might be simply to adopt policies that encourage a more diverse applicant base by utilizing better recruiting techniques.

Term Paper on Affirmative Action - Should Race Assignment

Colleges and universities might also consider working more closely directly with high schools in underprivileged areas to help students realize the benefits of higher learning and encourage them to apply to top level universities. If minority students do not have access at the early education level to the same level of academic excellence, than it is more likely that they will have difficulty or struggle at the advanced educational level. It is important that federal legislators view education from the whole, rather than a certain portion of it only.

The affirmative action issue has been explored from many different perspectives, but only at the university level. Far too little emphasis has been focused on education at the early education level. More attention to academics and equal opportunities at this level might result in a wider range of applicants that are qualified and eager to attend the nations universities, and might eliminate the need for affirmative action policies altogether.

Undoubtedly, the issue of affirmative action in college education is one that will not go away in the near future. Thus it is important that administrators, educators, students and federal legislators work together to develop a solution that is acceptable to al parties involved. Examination of favoritism at any level in the university should also be a consideration for educators and administrators alike. The purpose of the nation's higher education system should be to provide equal opportunities to all citizens regardless of race, sex, gender or national origin. Despite the facts, affirmative action is here to stay in the short-term. It will continue to be hotly debated until an adequate solution is found to under representation in the educational system.


Gurin, Patricia; Dey, Eric; Hurtado, Sylvia; Gurin, Gerald. "Affirmative Action Encourages

Educational Diversity." Civil Rights. Karen F. Balkin, Ed. Current Controversies Series. Greenhaven Press, 2004. From: Patricia Gurin, Eric L. Dey, Sylvia Hurtado, and Gerald Gurin, "Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes," Harvard Educational Review, vol. 72, Fall 2002

Jost, K. (2001, September 21). Affirmative action. The CQ Researcher Online, 11, 737-760. Retrieved November 27, 2004, from Document ID: cqresrre2001092100.

Jost, K. (1995, April 28). Rethinking affirmative action. The CQ Researcher Online. Retrieved November 27, 2004, from Document ID: cqresrre1995042800

Kennedy, C. (2004). "Bush says colleges should end 'legacy' admissions such as his." The

Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 26, 2004 from, p_docid=10460EE8DD7C1656& p_docnum=8& p_nbid=A5DR4DQBMTEwMTU2NDk2Ni44OTQwMjc6MTo5OjM4LjExNS42MA& p_queryname=700

New Criterion. "Affirmative Action Creates Reverse Discrimination" by New Criterion.

Discrimination. In, Mary E. Williams, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 2003. From "Notes & Comments: January 2001," New Criterion, January 2001

Phillips, S. (1994, January 7). Racial tensions in schools. The CQ Researcher Online. Retrieved November 27, 2004, from Document ID: cqresrre1994010700.

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Retrieved November 27, 2004, from Document ID: cqresrre1996022300 [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Affirmative Action - Should Race.  (2004, November 27).  Retrieved October 30, 2020, from

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"Affirmative Action - Should Race."  27 November 2004.  Web.  30 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Affirmative Action - Should Race."  November 27, 2004.  Accessed October 30, 2020.