Affirmative Action in Collegiate Education
Affirmative action is an idea that was constructed as far back as the Civil War, and is a term used for the programs intended to achieve equal opportunity in employment and collegiate education among minorities. This includes employment programs and discrimination laws, as well as special grants and scholarships specifically aimed toward aiding minorities.
The conflict of interest surrounding affirmative action is that scholarships targeted for minority groups are now unfairly disadvantaging students who are not minorities, meaning caucasians. Affirmative action also allows colleges to consider race when admitting students. The intent behind these programs and rulings is to encourage racial diversity in college settings.
Several lawsuits have occurred when whites felt like they were not accepted to a college because of their race. One of these cases is the Fisher vs. The University of Texas case, when a student whose GPA was only slightly above honor roll criteria, applied and was denied acceptance to the school because, according to her, they took her race into consideration when admitting students and because she is white, she did not get accepted. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the university, saying Fishers credentials simply didn’t make her a strong enough candidate.
An anonymous poll conducted towards white students, asked if they felt they were at a disadvantage when applying for scholarships because they are white. Out of 25 responses, 36 percent said yes and 64 percent said no.
“There is no disadvantage that comes with being white,” Kimberly Smith ‘16 said. “There’s a certain privilege and bias out there that white people do tend to get better positions in life, and are paid more in the long run.”