Most Americans Reject Race-based College Admissions

A large majority of Americans—73 percent—say that neither race nor ethnicity should be factors in deciding which students are granted admission to colleges and universities. Only 7 percent think race and ethnicity should be major factors, and 19 percent favor allowing them to be light factors. The survey was conducted by Pew Research Center in January and February of this year.

Every major racial or ethnic grouping rejects admission by race or ethnicity, but the largest such rejection come from white Americans—78 percent, compared with 65 percent Hispanics, 62 percent blacks, and 59 percent Asians, surveying only Asians who speak English.


What Factors Should Colleges Consider?

A total of 67 percent of Americans think high school grades should be the major factor in admission decision, while 47 percent think it should be SATs or ACTs.

On most college campuses, administrators and faculty have been widely assumed to be heavily in favor of affirmative action, with students mostly in agreement. This survey shows a large consensus leaning the other way.

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4 thoughts on “Most Americans Reject Race-based College Admissions

  1. While this is encouraging as it fits the message of the Civil Rights movement led by MLK, how can it be the overwhelming view of college administrators, and seemingly students as well, are not in agreement with this. Does Pew have a theory? Which view really is more prevalent? This is most surprising.

  2. I think these data show why we no longer have votes on this matter. Elites know full well the outcome–preferences will be defeated. Reminds me of referendum on EU membership–ordinary citizens almost always reject it when given a chance. So, the interesting question is what drives this elite embrace of preferences? My own explanation is that elites prize civic stability over all values and the racial spoils system is central to keeping the peace.

  3. A large consensus of society doesn’t agree with administrators and faculty on many things. The pitchforks and torches aren’t out — yet — but it’s coming….

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