And Samantha, who’d already started to feel disillusioned with the admissions system by the time she’d embarked on the process, didn’t lie about herself in her applications.
But sometimes, in an effort to pour their personalities into a college-friendly mold, students encounter more sinister pressures.
“I got a very high SAT score,” Samantha says, “literally because my parents hired somebody.”Read: The Harvard case is about the future of affirmative action, incentivizes students to distort their identities to fit the profile they think the people reviewing their applications will find appealing.
This dynamic becomes particularly problematic when it involves a student’s racial identity, whether that means over- or underemphasizing this background in an effort to seem more appealing to diversity-minded admissions officers.
The April 14, 2003 edition of Newsweek’s article titled “Michigan’s Day in Court” brings to light the controversy surrounding affirmative action.
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It claims that the case against the University of Michigan is the biggest case concerning affirmative action in 25 years.Samantha, 20, who asked to be identified by her first name only so she could speak freely about a sensitive topic, is now a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, some 500 miles east of her suburban Cincinnati home.A Korean American who graduated from a predominantly white, affluent private high school, she’s double majoring in international relations and East Asian studies.In 1978 the Supreme Court ruled, in what is known as the Bakke case, “that quotas and two-track admissions systems were unconstitutional, but upheld the vague notion of using race as one of many ‘plus’ factors in admissions.” In the Michigan case, three white students have brought the school to court over the fact that they believe the school accepted less-qualified minorities over themselves.They hope the court will put a ban on using race as a determining factor.Affirmative action has been a controversial topic ever since it was established in the 1960s to right past wrongs against minority groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and women.The goal of affirmative action is to integrate minorities into public institutions, like universities, who have historically been discriminated against in such environments.The lawsuit, it seems, is a by-product of the fact that too many students are applying for too few spots at too few colleges.The number of college-going Asian Americans in particular in recent years; it may naturally follow that more seemingly eligible Asian American candidates get rejected from Harvard's limited slots.“There’s a disease in that so many people are focused on 10 to 20 highly selective colleges that aren’t any better than 100 other colleges,” says Richard Weissbourd, a developmental psychologist and Harvard lecturer, who co-founded that tries to encourage children to be altruistic contributors to society.The Michigan law school does not use this system; rather, it uses a “critical mass” system, where a critical mass of minorities must be admitted to the law program.This is now under fire for being much like a quota system, as a certain number of minorities must be admitted to the school, according to policy. left” political battle, some people do not buy either argument.