Throughout the country, colleges are working to rid themselves of the racially-based selection process. California is leading the way with the implementation of a ?top 12.5 percent program? designed so students in the top 12.5 percent of every high school in the state are guaranteed admittance to state schools.
Because of the nature of discrimination in this country, schools are segregated by living areas and income levels so at those schools the top 12.5 percent might all be black, but will definitely all be underprivileged and deserving of help.
Most people supporting affirmative action today are under the false impression that without this program, colleges would be solely comprised of white males. Almost anybody with a high school diploma or a General Educational Development can get into college these days, even competitive schools like Purdue, Michigan State and other land grant schools. Over 25 states accept 75-90 percent of all applicants, but of the people who get into these colleges, 70-90 percent drop out nationally before achieving a bachelors. Of the 70-90 percent of students who drop out, over 50 percent are minorities ? the problem is in our early education system, not our admittance policies.
Just ask the high-achieving black or Hispanic student who works hard and gains entry to college solely on the basis of his merit, but who then must endure the nagging question of whether he was admitted because of affirmative action. Ask him whether he thinks it?s fair that his accomplishments are devalued, ask the daughter of a third-generation Chinese-American family whether she thinks we are being divisive when we say that it is fair for applicants who are in this country illegally to get preference over her.
Affirmative action is necessary to help the underprivileged, but that group is no longer defined by race alone.