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Affirmative Action and College Admissions Affirmative Action and College Admissions The Civil Rights Act of made it illegal to discriminate against students and college applicants on the basis of race or gender, but proving bias in college admissions is quite difficult.
As with discrimination in the hiring process, rejected applicants generally are not privy to the factors behind the decisions made by admissions personnel. As a result, many schools adopted so-called affirmative action policies to help ensure greater diversity. Methods vary, but affirmative action refers to the special consideration given to women, racial minorities, and members of other historically excluded groups.
While opponents often refer to it as "reverse discrimination," this strategy was meant to level the playing field for those who have been disproportionately rejected by college admissions. A combination of federal and state laws sets the parameters for how schools may implement affirmative action policies, which continue to be challenged and altered in the courts.
This article explores the legal aspects of affirmative action in college admissions, including the current legal challenge to such policies. Supreme Court first established legal limits for such policies in a case involving a medical school applicant.
The applicant, a white male, sued the school after he was denied by admissions, claiming that he was the victim of discrimination. While the Court ultimately ruled in his favor, it also held that race could be one of many factors used by admissions in the effort to desegregate colleges.
The Court ruled that setting a racial quota violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, so schools adopted more nuanced methods. The use of affirmative action in college admissions was similarly upheld in successive Supreme Court cases, although its scope has been narrowed, and some school policies were in fact found to be in violation of the law.
However, the courts have wavered on this issue, and the future of affirmative action is uncertain. For example, the U. Supreme Court ruled in that a University of Michigan point system favoring minority applicants was unconstitutional.
There have been numerous court challenges ever since, though, setting the stage for a landmark decision by the High Court. Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court Colleges and universities may use race as a factor in admissions as long as the methods used are narrowly tailored to achieve a level of student diversity more representative of the larger population.
Supreme Court, which is currently revisiting a case involving affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin, may drastically limit the ability of institutions to adopt such policies when it rules in When the Court originally ruled on the case, it avoided sweeping action and sent the matter back to the lower court.
The Court may undue the Grutter v. Bollinger decision discussed earlier when it issues another opinion on Fisher v. We will update this page after the decision is filed. So while federal law currently permits such policies, they may be further defined or even eliminated through state laws.
At least 10 states have passed laws limiting or banning the use of affirmative action in college admissions, including the following: Oklahoma - State Questionpassed by voter referendum inprohibits the state from granting preferential treatment to certain individuals including that based on race in public education.
Arizona - Propositionpassed by ballot initiative inprohibits the granting of preferential treatment of certain individuals including that based on race in public education.
Nebraska - Initiativepassed by voters ineliminates affirmative action at state colleges and universities. Texas - The "10 Percent Plan," passed by lawmakers inguarantees state university and college admission of students who finish in the top 10 percent of their graduating class thus narrowing the application of affirmative action policies.
Florida - The "One Florida" initiative, issued as an executive order by Governor Jeb Bush inprohibits the use of affirmative action the admissions policies of state schools. Affirmative action is an ever-changing and often-controversial method for expanding educational opportunities.
Check back often, as these laws are far from settled.
You may want to contact an education lawyer or civil rights attorney in your area if you have additional questions. Next Steps Contact a qualified education attorney to help you navigate education rights and laws.AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Tameshnie Deane* 1 Introduction In both the United States of America and South Africa, issues of segregation and discrimination are not new.
In these matters, both countries have a similar and unfair discrimination through a process of affirmative action Our attorneys plan and defend clients against issues raised by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Annually, our team prepares affirmative action plans for clients across several industries, including health care, banking, construction, manufacturing and transportation.
Affirmative Action has become one of the most controversial issues regarding college admissions. It is an issue that exposes profiling to its highest extent.
Race, gender and income now become vital factors in education opportunities. An Overview of the Affirmative Action Issues and the Essentiality of the College Acceptance Process.
words. 1 page. An Analysis of the Short Discussion of Affirmative Action and the Pros and Cons in Programming of the Untied States. 1, words. 2 pages. Black students are underrepresented by at least 20 percent at 79 percent of the country’s research universities; only two research universities in states with affirmative action bans have at least the same proportion of black students as the state’s college-age population, and one of those, Florida A&M University, is a historically black college or university (HBCU).
Affirmative action in university admissions is a separate matter from affirmative action in employment that operates under different rules and regulations. Federal law requires government contractors and other departments and agencies receiving federal funding to develop and implement affirmative action plans for the hiring process.