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10 Reasons Affirmative Action STILL Matters Today

If the Supreme Court decides against the use of race in college admissions, it will erase many years of progress for campuses trying to be more diverse and inclusive.

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8. The implications of race-neutral policies in educational opportunities are detrimental to the next generation. Admission polices that do not consider race are predicted to decrease representation of students of color at the most selective four-year institutions by 10 percent. Given that our future workforce is projected to be nearly half people of color, it is necessary that universities create a fair process for expanding opportunities to all students.

9. Research show that race-neutral polices simply don’t work. Scholars have already debunked the myth that a class-based admission system is an adequate replacement for a race-based admission policy as a means of creating greater levels of diversity. A study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law found that after using a class-based admission system, enrollment of African Americans and American Indians fell by more than 70 percent. A wide breadth of research concludes that race-conscious practices are necessary in some capacity to achieve a level of diversity that encompasses our diverse nation.

10. The majority of Americans support race-conscious policies in higher education. A CBS News/ New York Times poll in 2009 shows that the majority of Americans are in favor of promoting diversity on college campuses through race-conscious policies—including the Asian American population, a group that is inaccurately speculated to benefit from the ban of such practices. An Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund poll found that 75 percent of Asian Americans voters in Michigan rejected Michigan’s Proposition 2, a 2006 state referendum seeking to ban race-conscious policies.

As our nation becomes more diverse, it is crucial that institutions of higher education reflect this diversity. Our growing communities of color are America’s future, and it is important that we not only prepare people of color as future leaders, but that we also expose all students to diversity in education so that America’s students are more competitive in an increasingly global economy.

Sophia Kerby is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at American Progress.