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Affirmative Action in University and College Admissions

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Introduction

Affirmative action refers to policies enacted to protect the interests of minority groups in society. The policies take into consideration gender, color, race, and religion with a view of benefiting those deemed underrepresented in the society. Currently, there has been an ongoing debate in the US on whether to adopt affirmative action in university and college admissions. Proponents hold that affirmative action would promote equality for opportunities; it would promote diversity in the learning institutions, and it would help redress social imbalance in the society. On the other hand, opponents argue that affirmative action would compromise the judgment of student ability basing on merit and that it would perpetuate social inequalities. The divided feelings relating to affirmative action have made it difficult to resolve the issue because each party wants its concerns put into consideration.

This paper explicates the debate on affirmative action in college admissions, in the US

According to research, proponents argue that affirmative action would lead to equality for opportunities in colleges and universities. In case affirmative action is adopted, all the minority groups in the society would be prioritized in the admissions (Zamani-Gallaher and Green, P 150). Students drawn from minority groups would be given a chance to access quality education like the rest in the society. Equality would be the guiding principle of all universities and colleges thus, ensuring that no student is left out. Research asserts that equal opportunities would help eliminate obstacles to the success of minorities in the Unites States of America because the ground would have been leveled. Continued admission of minority groups into the universities and college would ensure that competition is revolutionized. This is because minorities would want to prove that they are worthy being in such institutions and would want to compete at the same level as the advantaged groups in society. Proponents further argue that equality would ensure that all individuals access better jobs despite their racial or sexual backgrounds. This would only be achieved by presenting such groups with equal educational opportunities that would equip them with the necessary skills. The principle of equality would ensure that universities and colleges do not only admit the advantaged groups in society. It would ensure that those from the groups deemed minority move from the lower class to a higher class because of quality education. They would be able to go back to their communities and enlighten them on educational matters hence leading to better achievements. Equality would promote the motivation to work hard for the minority students; this is because they believe they would not be discriminated in the areas of admission as long as they perform to their best levels according to the existing standards (Beckman, P 122).

Research asserts that affirmative action would promote diversity in learning institutions

Diversity is only achieved when minority groups are combined with the advantaged groups. This could be seen in terms of race diversity or gender diversity. Students in the universities would be able to share different cultural issues hence learning new cultural issues. This is vital because it would help promote integration in the entire country. People from diverse economic, social, and racial backgrounds would learn how to coexist and cope with others in the society hence making up a stronger society (Montenero, P 110). According to research, students would get new cultural experiences and would be able to appreciate others as equal human beings. Character would be developed from the diverse existence of students. They would know what is acceptable in the society and codes of conduct they need to observe. Universities and colleges would develop a stronger educational background because of proper a proper conduct and learning experiences among students from diverse backgrounds. The tremendous academic progress among all the students would be achieved by continued appreciation of everyone in the society. Apart from academic performance, universities and colleges would be able to perform better in the areas relating to sports and art. Individuals from diverse backgrounds form a vast community composed of different talents and experiences. Extracurricular activities learning institutions would be taken to a higher level because of the strong bond among students as they share the practices and arts from their communities (Zamani-Gallaher and Green, P 175). Cooperation would be enhanced with diversification, as students understand the weaknesses and strengths of each group in society. From this, universities and colleges would build a better society that is right-minded and not willing to underestimate the rights of others in the society.

It would help redress the issue of social imbalance in the society. According to research, affirmative action is the key to overcoming social imbalance in the entire society. This should start from the area of education, and it would automatically be reflected in other areas. The aspirations of the minority groups in the society would be raised by being given a chance to access quality education. This motivation would help them emerge as successful individuals willing to create a better society where everyone is respected and not judged according to his minority nature in the society. Successful individuals from the poor and minority groups would stand to be counted as role models for the society (Figueira, P 104). They youth from the society would be motivated by this and would work further for continued achievements with the aim of achieving the same success. This would ensure that poor and minority groups in the society are transformed and produce individuals who serve the society in different capacities. Some would emerge as politicians and others as corporate personalities. The education gained from universities and colleges would facilitate this. Social imbalance would be a forgotten case because of the educational achievements by the minorities. They would be able to cater for their own needs in the society by addressing the issues relating to development in an open manner. According to research, learned individuals arising from minority groups would help transform such groups by ensuring most of their basic needs. Poverty would be gradually done away with hence building a more balanced society where class does not dominate. Social balance would eliminate the rampant sufferings such groups are exposed to (Montenero, P 126). Social imbalance would be redressed by the balance of wealth that is achieved through the educational achievements and subsequent employment opportunities for minorities.

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On the other hand, opponents argue that affirmative action would compromise the judgment of students based on merit. Research intimates that affirmative action ensures that students with lower grades are picked upon, to join prestigious universities despite the fact that they had a lower academic performance. The principle is based on the status of one in the society. It takes into consideration minorities; thus, denying other potential students from advantaged groups the opportunity to join prestigious institutions (Figueira, P 120). Furthermore, the academic achievements of advantaged students are not catered for because the rule is to ensure minorities get their fair share. According to research, this would lead to deterioration in the academic standards in colleges and universities. Students picked upon could not have the potential to produce better results compared to those left out because of the reason that they come from advantaged communities.  Meritocracy would also be compromised because of the feeling that minorities are given more favors than other groups. This would encourage gross laziness in among such groups because they believe their positions are automatic and guaranteed. They would not work as hard as those from advantaged groups would. This means they would post lower academic performance with the belief that they are secured. The automatic selection of the disadvantaged groups would substantially compromise academic performance in the e universities and colleges because the same character of poor performance is carried forward. Competitiveness in the universities and colleges would be lower compared to when students are selected basing on their academic achievements. This would not give a true picture of the actual set standards in relation to academics among students.

Affirmative action would perpetuate socioeconomic inequalities

According to research, opponents argue that affirmative action would not help the minorities but would only promote continued social injustices. They argue that affirmative action would breed social inequalities instead of addressing the issues of minorities. Hatred would be widespread in the entire country. The major groups would advance in their discrimination against minorities hence ensuring they do not access other opportunities. The priorities given during the admissions would promote social alignments in these learning institutions. Students from advantaged groups would develop a feeling that the existence of minorities is an obstacle to their actual advancement in life. They would be mistreated in the institutions because of the feeling that they do not deserve to be accommodated in such institutions. Economic inequalities would be perpetuated as the minority groups remain at the same level of social class (Montenero, P 133). The principle would ensure that those from advantaged groups demean the minority groups because their academic achievements are based on favoritism. This would be morale lowering among the minority groups hence discouraging them from working harder to post better results. They would be demoralized and would not achieve the required standards to improve their living conditions. According to research, this further leads to greater differences as socio-economic inequalities mature due to the failure to achieve better results. This would lead to a continuation of poor living standards among the minority groups rather than better their lives. Thus, they argue that university and college admissions be based on one’s academic achievements to ensure that discrimination is eliminated in the society. They assert that a society that does not favor the minority would be more progressive because individuals support each other without ill feelings.

Conclusion

Affirmative action is the principle that is directed towards securing opportunities and fair representation of the minorities in societies. The minorities could be based on gender, color, and racial backgrounds. This topic has given rise to an unending debate in the United States. Proponents for the adoption of affirmative action in the admission of students to universities and colleges argue that it would help promote diversity in the learning institutions. This is because students would be drawn from all backgrounds. In addition, they hold that, with affirmative action, everyone would have been given equal opportunities for the advancement in the society. It considers all individuals ensuring they are given equal opportunities to succeed and improve their lives. Affirmative action would help to eliminate social imbalance in the United States of America. They assert that affirmative action in the education sector would ensure the minority achieve and live better lives thereafter hence redressing the social indifferences. On the other hand, opponents hold that affirmative action would perpetuate continued socio-economic differences in the country. This is because it breeds hatred and continued discrimination. It would also compromise merit as the measure for success among most students. It is an unfair practice as it leaves out successful students from advantaged groups as it mainly considers the minority.

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