A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center about the importance of race in higher education has some surprising findings. A significant majority of Americans no longer see this as a necessary consideration in admissions.

Nikki Graf writes at Pew:

Most Americans say colleges should not consider race or ethnicity in admissions

As the debate over college admissions policies reignites, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Americans (73%) say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions. Just 7% say race should be a major factor in college admissions, while 19% say it should be a minor factor.

The issue emerged again earlier this month when a federal judge heard closing arguments in the high-profile lawsuit against Harvard University that could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court and influence the future of affirmative action in higher education.

The breakdown across racial groups is particularly fascinating:

While majorities across racial and ethnic groups agree that race should not be a factor in college admissions, white adults are particularly likely to hold this view: 78% say this, compared with 65% of Hispanics, 62% of blacks and 59% of Asians (the Asian sample includes only those who speak English).

See the graphic below, via Pew:

Alexa Lardieri of U.S. News & World Report notes the partisan lines:

Among political parties, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to oppose using the race in admissions. Eighty-five percent of Republicans believe race shouldn’t be factor, while 12 percent believe it should be a minor factor and 4 percent believe it should be a major factor. Among Democrats, 63 percent believe race and ethnicity shouldn’t play a role in admissions, while 26 percent believe it should play a minor role and 10 percent believe it should play a major role.

Of eight factors, most people, 67 percent, believe high school grades should be the most important.

Is it time for colleges and universities to base admissions purely on merit?

Featured image via YouTube.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.