Every year millions of high school seniors are eagerly anticipating a college acceptance letter from their dream university. Many of the top universities across the country have strict admission requirements to accept high school seniors. These admission requirements comprise of academic standing, extracurricular activities, and leadership experience.
One of the most controversial issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the board is racial discrimination in the college admission process.
Enacted by President John F. Kennedy, the purpose of affirmative action has been to encourage racial diversity and equality in the workforce and colleges. Affirmative action forbids discrimination due to race, age, or religion for applicants to level out the playing field for historically excluded racial groups in our society.
However, from local universities to Ivy league colleges, affirmative action continues to hurt Asian American high school students applying for college admission across the nation. Asian American high school students are negatively affected by the college admission process as the standards are raised higher compared to other racial groups.
Asian Americans go to school without any advantages over their counterparts. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, Asian Americans outperform other students due to one simple reason: effort. Asian American students have the strongest support system from family, friends, and teachers due to our culture and traditions. The values of discipline and determination are the foundation that Asian American parents teach their children for them to excel in academics with good grades embedded in our culture. Asian American parents also instill the importance for their children to prioritize to finish college and to choose a professional career with higher incomes, such as becoming nurses, doctors, lawyers, and accountants. This isn’t a new phenomenon that Asian American high school seniors have better grades compared to their counterparts.
Unfortunately, the bar is raised higher for Asian Americans applying to elite universities and Ivy Leagues. The Asian American Coalition for Education states, “Asian-Americans have the lowest acceptance rate for each SAT test score bracket, having to score on average approximately 140 points higher than a White student, 270 points higher than a Hispanic student and 450 points higher than a Black student on the SAT.”
In July 2018, the Trump administration reversed the race-based guidelines of college admissions under the Obama Administration due to the recent lawsuit filed against Harvard University. According to Inside Higher Education, “The lawsuit also compared Harvard’s entering classes to those of the California Institute of Technology, which does not consider race in admissions. In 2013, according to the complaint, Harvard had 18 percent Asian-American enrollment, while Caltech had 43 percent. Similar studies have shown that Asian-American enrollment is much higher at institutions like the University of California’s campuses at Berkeley or Los Angeles — where a voter-approved state measure bans the consideration of race — than it is at Ivy institutions consider race.”
As a result, we need to take a harder stance against the race-based affirmative action, because we can’t justify using only race as a factor in college admissions. Alternative ways of achieving diversity include admission for students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, first-generation college students, and merit-based to diversify the student body in colleges and universities. Affirmative Action is outdated and unnecessary in 2018.
This is the reason why the AAPI community needs to vote for Republican candidates, including Senator Dean Heller, in the November 2018 midterm elections. We need to support candidates who will push for alternative based methods for college admission, ones that don’t undermine the hard work of our Asian American students.
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A tenacious leader and entrepreneur, Lisa Noeth started her content writing business, LM Noeth Solutions, in 2018. She graduated from New York University’s Masters of Science in Global Affairs in 2016 and is currently an aspiring political commentator/journalist. Lisa is on a mission to unite all millennial Republicans across Nevada as the chairwoman for the Young Republicans of Southern Nevada.