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Colleges’ Plan B for Diversity Colleges’ Plan B for Diversity

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The Next America - Education 2012 / Education

Colleges’ Plan B for Diversity

If the Supreme Court rules against affirmative action, admissions officials say they may consider new criteria that might weigh first-generation and/or socioeconomic status or disregard SAT scores.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

October 9, 2012

Many colleges and universities appear to be preparing for alternative methods of increasing racial diversity on their campuses by adopting admissions policies that place more emphasis on class and income.

A survey by Inside Higher Ed asked admissions directors about likely steps they would take if the Supreme Court prohibits them from using affirmative action in colleges and universities. The results showed that many admission specialists favor changes to policies that are race-neutral.

(RELATED: As High Court Hears Affirmative-Action Case, Issues of Race Equality Remain)

 

About 30 percent of administrators said they would consider placing greater weight on first-generation status, while 20 percent said they would focus on applicants’ socioeconomic status. Another 10 percent of directors at public, four-year institutions said they favored dropping standardized test scores.

While these changes would likely help Asian, black, and Latino students because many come from lower-income households and are the first in their families to attend college, such admission policies would also benefit lower-income white students.

Even when colleges don’t take into account race and ethnicity, they want to keep a tally of who is applying and being admitted, according the Inside Higher Ed article. 

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