A new study published this week by the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) finds that Ohio State University and Miami University are discriminating against student applicants according to their race and ethnicity. Althea Nagai, a longtime NAS member, conducted the study with assistance from NAS members George Dent and Hal Arkes. The universities themselves provided the data analyzed in the report.
According to CEO president Roger Clegg, nonwhite applicants had a much higher probability of being accepted at Ohio State and Miami than white applicants—even if they have the same test scores:
at Miami more than eight out of ten African Americans with ACT scores and GPAs at the 25th percentile of black admittees were admitted, versus half of Hispanics, four out of ten Asians, and fewer than one out of three whites with those credentials. At OSU, more than seven out of ten blacks with these credentials were admitted, versus fewer than two out of ten whites.”
The authors observed that “Groups that receive admission preference also generally exhibited lower graduation rates compared to whites.”
We at NAS have long argued for racial equality in college admissions, because no one should be given an automatic advantage because of his skin color or country of origin. It was wrong in the time of segregation, and it is wrong today. NAS helped create Proposition 209, which was approved in 1996 and bans racial preferences in California’s public institutions; since then other states have voted to pass similar laws. CEO’s findings at Ohio State and Miami are all too common in American higher education, especially when citizens around the country are affirming the ideal of equal opportunity.
It is time to move away from racial discrimination done in the name of “diversity.” If we truly want to serve the next generation of college students – regardless of their race – we must treat them with respect and fairness by applying equal standards.