For good reason, Harvard is widely considered to be the most prestigious college in America. Five Supreme Court justices attended Harvard and so did 52 of the 535 people currently in Congress. Furthermore, Harvard graduates have the highest median earnings in their first 10 years out of college at about $89,700 per year.
That being said, Harvard has become more of a radical, intersectional, leftist echo chamber than an institution of higher education. This has happened through their radical usage of the Obama-era policy on Affirmative Action.
In October 2018, the dean of Harvard revealed that an African-American, Native American, or Hispanic would only have to have a score of 1100 (out of 1600) on the SAT, in the 59th percentile of all test-takers, to receive a recruitment letter from Harvard. Furthermore, it would take an Asian-American man a score of 1380 and Asian-American woman a score of 1350 to receive the same recruitment letter from Harvard. For the record, a score of 1350 and 1380 would put the test-taker in the 92nd and 94th percentiles, respectively.
This ludicrous policy to “promote diversity,” rather than accept possible candidates based on merit alone, resulted in a lawsuit against Harvard in late 2018. In Students for Fair Admissions (SSFA) v. Harvard, the plaintiff, SSFA, argued that Harvard’s admissions committee violated 42 U.S. Code § 2000d as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Harvard is using the Supreme Court case of Fisher v. University of Texas and numerous other cases to defend their actions.
One of the key players within this case is Michael Wang, an Asian-American who was waitlisted at Harvard with an SAT score of 2230 (out of 2400) and a 4.67 weighted GPA. Currently, the case is in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, but it is expected that this case will be brought before the Supreme Court.
So, what are the ramifications to this race-based admissions practice? Well, according to a vast amount of research, Affirmative Action hurts those who it’s trying to help.
A 2017 study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that Hispanics and African-Americans have a graduation rate 10 percent lower than the average student. Although the specific reasoning for dropping out was not speculated on within the report, it would be foolish to suggest that Affirmative Action plays no role. Harvard is known for being a competitive school and, when students who didn’t perform as well as the rest of the entering class on the SAT enter, they have a quantifiable disadvantage from the start.
Combined with Harvard’s large initiative on Affirmative Action comes their desire to promote diversity on campus. This can be seen in the school’s mission statement on their website, as well as in a 2015 study on the benefits of racial diversity at Harvard. This combination could lead to much higher dropout rates from minority student populations at Harvard. This proposition is perfectly exemplified in elite law schools.
In a 2003 study by Professor Richard Sander, 51.6 percent of first-year African-American law students had grade point averages in the bottom 10 percent of his/her class— as opposed to 5.6 percent of white students. Furthermore, a 2009 study also found that African-Americans have an 11.1 percent higher chance of dropping out of law school.
Harvard’s class of 2021 will actually be comprised of a majority of minority students and the class of 2022 will be 52.7% nonwhite. This isn’t to suggest that this change is inherently bad, but that the diversity-directed policies specifically instituted by Harvard may seem helpful on the surface despite the immense harm being done to students.
We all want everyone to succeed in college, should that be their chosen path. It just makes far more sense to pick students with similar levels of achievement and readiness to give everyone the best chance of being successful in any given class and college or university. Everyone should be held to the same standards and have the same level of opportunity to be chosen by college admissions councils.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.