Affirmative action may be at an end in college admissions (Supreme Court takes up case)

Might've seen the news this morning, here's the link -- https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-to-con…

Gist of it is there are two class-action cases (UNC and Harvard) which the Supreme Court has agreed to consider in tandem (as they affect the same issue) regarding race-based quotas. Effectively, if the justices rule to get rid of it this would end affirmative action in college admissions. There's a very good chance that this happens as we have 6 conservative justices (at least 2 of which - Thomas and Roberts - have for a long been vocally against affirmative action). Would bet we at least get buy in from 3 of the other 4 conservative justices. The case will be heard around Oct 2022 (this yr) and the ruling would come out by June 2023.

If this goes through (which I'd bet 80-90% it will), this would officially end the affirmative action posts on WSO as well. gg

EDIT: As Mr. Incredible pointed out below, Alito is also vocally against it. Also Clarence Thomas has long been against it as well (https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-elite-hat…) as another posted said below. Meaning of the 5 votes needed to end affirmative action, 4 are locked in. Only need 1 more vote from 2 conservative justices. Believe Justice Kavanaugh also was against race-based admissions in his lawyer days as well so this is most likely another vote against AA

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Comments (81)

Jan 24, 2022 - 6:46pm
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pusZXECS0mM

Array

  • 1
Jan 24, 2022 - 1:29pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It makes no sense. My fiance would not qualify even though her family sucks and she had a way harder time growing up than I did (she is white).

Although, I'm not an eligible minority either, even though I belong to the ethnicity that has objectively faced the most discrimination possible in the early 00s/10s. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 1:39pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It really doesn't make sense at all. Asians get 0 sympathy for abuses / racism (media also shits on them & makes Asians feel like they're worth less), and what's particularly messed up is there is so much variance even among Asians. So while Chinese / Japanese / Indian may be doing very well, there are people from Cambodia / Laos / Vietnam who are living super hard lives but they aren't 'enough of a minority' and get doubly screwed over in American society 

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Jan 25, 2022 - 4:06am
neink, what's your opinion? Comment below:

#stopasianhate

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 1
Jan 25, 2022 - 4:42am
shottask, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Tons of Indian families like mine who've come from nothing. I struggled in college because of this and I'm scared that MBA programs won't give a damn about my personal life because I'm Indian ORM

Jan 25, 2022 - 12:28pm
BPST, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lots of variance amongst "whites" too. Western and Northern Europeans have so much more "privilege" than southern and Eastern Europeans. Even in the 50s many cities literally had neighborhoods for Italians/Polish/Irish/Germans/Swedish/Spanish/etc and job hiring would depend on how "English" your last name sounded.

Race is honestly just a bogus social construct. Way better to evaluate someone based upon their socioeconomic upbringing than solely on race. Barack Obama's kids are far better off than some kid who grew up in trailer park West Virginia.

Jan 24, 2022 - 1:51pm
Mr Incredible, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Alito is also very against affirmative action. During the last case, he wrote his own passionate dissenting opinion separate from the main dissenting opinion. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 2:34pm
Beer-Kleiza, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would be good if this actual systematic racism stops, these policies always showed the hypocrisie of the left.

Jan 24, 2022 - 2:58pm
Business-Weekly, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We hear about these court cases all the time. Unfortunately, I think it's naive to assume that affirmative action will come to an end, even if this case does go against AA. Colleges and employers always find loopholes to keep doing what they want to do.

Jan 24, 2022 - 3:03pm
billy_boy79, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We hear them all the time but this is the first to go to the Supreme Court since mid-2000s. And every other challenge to AA has been defeated before, this is the 1st in the past ~40yrs at least that has a chance to succeed. 

Even if the result doesn't 100% stop AA in colleges, it's a win even if it drops by 60-80%. This of course doesn't impact employers directly though it does affect the college pipeline. That said, outside of coding / tech pretty much every other profession demands college (and often graduate degrees layered on top) so it will have massive effects on the post-college pipeline and indirectly cut down on racism against Asians / whites (and even Latinos, they barely count as URM these days as URM = black in 2022)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 25, 2022 - 8:09am

This is the first time a case has come in front of the Supreme Court with a conservative supermajority 

Jan 24, 2022 - 4:09pm
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm nervous about the fallout over losing affirmative action. I am morally and passionately against AA on principle, but I DO think colleges/universities should seek ways to give a leg up to genuinely disadvantaged people (which will disproportionately--though not exclusively--be black people in America). Would it be so hard for the universities to use household income and/or median income in zip codes/high school locations to kind of piece together a policy that helps disadvantaged people without dipping into the moral grey zone of AA? The fact is, they should have been doing this all along. But I think what will actually happen is that schools will use a perhaps even more moral grey area of "personality." This will just achieve the same ends as AA--ensuring well-off black and Hispanic kids get a leg up without helping the actually disadvantaged. 

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Jan 24, 2022 - 5:28pm
WS_Jerry, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree with this too. The real hard part is making sure kids from underprivileged areas get a fair shot. Public schools tend to get their funding from property taxes. Wealthier areas pay more taxes and have a better funded school. I think you're right at looking at the property values of zip codes and certain areas. The question is, will schools actually go through and do this?

I think I did this right

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:35pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well, think about the reason affirmative action was put in place to begin with.  Probably wasn't because college admissions offices were falling over themselves to admit minorities.

Getting rid of affirmative action just means bringing back other, more insidious types of discrimination.  The only difference is now, your average butthurt white 18 year old complaining about how some black kid stole their spot at Harvard, now will be forced to deal with the harder-to-dislodge fact that it's underqualified rich kids taking their spot.

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:46pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Memberberries

Would it be so hard for the universities to use household income and/or median income in zip codes/high school locations to kind of piece together a policy that helps disadvantaged people without dipping into the moral grey zone of AA? The fact is, they should have been doing this all along. 

I know there's plenty of reason to distrust snoopy government agencies, but DOE already does have that information. How else do they factor everything together for FAFSA every year? Not to mention the universities have access to all the median income by zip code already (they TEACH STUDENTS HOW TO F***ING FIND AND USE IT FOR ECONOMETRICS FFS!). There's no reason that unviersities, public ones especially, shouldn't have all data made accessible to them for the very reason you mentioned. Of course, I'm sure they have some diluted and out of focus reasoning for why "they've never thought of that before(!)". 

/rant. Eat Domino's

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:58pm
Angus Macgyver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So many metrics that would be 1000x better. Household income. Educational attainment level of parents and grandparents. Address. Income of the candidate (yes, candidate, if a high schooler has made a decent amount of money from some retail or food service job, that is a real strong indicator that they're from a poor family... or at least from a family that has the good sense to make their kid work for a living).

Jan 24, 2022 - 7:31pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Angus Macgyver

So many metrics that would be 1000x better. Household income. Educational attainment level of parents and grandparents. Address. Income of the candidate (yes, candidate, if a high schooler has made a decent amount of money from some retail or food service job, that is a real strong indicator that they're from a poor family... or at least from a family that has the good sense to make their kid work for a living).

FAFSA already collects all that. So there's a dataset available.

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:59pm
curiousgeorge79, what's your opinion? Comment below:

IMO colleges have lost (or should have lost) all trust at this point to implement fair admissions policies both from the perspective of wealthy legacies and certain minorities. Legally enforced equality of opportunity at the admissions level is the only practical way forward given this blatant abuse of the public trust.

Jan 25, 2022 - 3:54am
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Memberberries

I DO think colleges/universities should seek ways to give a leg up to genuinely disadvantaged people. 

Why? Do you want a disadvantaged surgeon operate on you? Or disadvantaged teacher teach your kids?

By admitting "disadvantaged" instead of better skilled and able, you take away from the world people who could become brilliant scientists and make a discovery and push the world progress, people who could become brilliant doctors, engineers, developers, etc. And instead you are getting lower quality doctors, engineers, developers, etc.

Jan 25, 2022 - 8:15am
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What a stupid point. Doctors have to pass common exams. It's the great equalizer.

Ultimately, universities do have an interest in not having a homogeneous student body, but pure race-based admissions is an ugly, morally questionable practice. Using metrics that aren't pure racism may achieve similar goals without the university selling its soul. The system, however, will remain imperfect. And, yes, under qualified students failing out will remain a problem and is something any leg up program should try to address.

Array

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Jan 25, 2022 - 7:54am
gsssa 2050, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This already exists at private colleges. Low income kids who are accepted get metric sh*t tonnes of federal and school financial aid, rich kids parents blow 100k a year to subsidize it. People who are hurt most are middle income but they can either go to state schools on favourable terms or get merit scholarships to better schools. The 'unfair' part is that slightly dumber richer people are let in. 

Jan 25, 2022 - 12:28pm
trustmeimanengineer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Preach. Middle-class (lower btw) went to State school for Engineering. Worked 40+ hours a week to limit loans. Graduated with zero debt with BS/MS in Engineering. Getting a PhD now while working full time. Barely got any scholarships. Turned down Vandy as they wanted 40k/yr. I can do basic fucking math. No thanks. Now I make 150k+ and invested crypto to the low 7 figs. Once I hit 8, I am out. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 6:34pm
BobTheBaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The way AA is discussed on this forum you'd think everyone here was a 17 year old just waiting on that college application response. 

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Jan 24, 2022 - 6:41pm
WS_Jerry, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Probably hit a memory from when we were all 17 and didn't get accepted in X University/College for some reason.

I think I did this right

  • 2
Jan 25, 2022 - 12:28pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're forgetting MBA admissions.

Array

Jan 24, 2022 - 6:45pm
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is this really that big an issue?

If you were a deserving stud that didn't get into an Ivy, you probably got into a a second tier college like Duke and still did great in life.

If you were an undeserving minority who got into an Ivy, you probably struggled in the real world once you left the protective cocoon of campus.

Jan 24, 2022 - 8:48pm
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You just said that an under qualified URM getting into an elite school he isn't prepared for is bad for him. Yes, that's a big problem. That's one of the bad unintended consequences of AA.

But that's all beside the point. The point is, using race as a primary factor in admissions is immoral. And the way it works in practice is that it benefits already well off URMs. AA often doesn't even help people who have actually been born into tougher than average circumstances.

Array

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Jan 24, 2022 - 8:58pm
HitTheAsk, what's your opinion? Comment below:

white bois mad alert

Edit: yea yea yea downvote me all u want, literally more than half the white dudes in my upper level finance classes all came from money and networks lmfao. you're probably a super sperg if you think an ethnic "taking your spot" is the reason you can't hack it. pathetic

Jan 25, 2022 - 12:28pm
financeabc, what's your opinion? Comment below:
HitTheAsk

white bois mad alert

Edit: yea yea yea downvote me all u want, literally more than half the white dudes in my upper level finance classes all came from money and networks lmfao. you're probably a super sperg if you think an ethnic "taking your spot" is the reason you can't hack it. pathetic

The introduction to your comment which is about white boys being upset misrepresents who is most upset.  Clearly, Asian people are most effected by AA and are therefore are the ones who are usually most irritated by this policy. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 25, 2022 - 8:20am

Half of UNC is admitted through some form of affirmative action. UNC will always be a bit below the other top publics unless they abandon the 82% in state quota. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 25, 2022 - 8:28am

Affirmative action is banned in California (and failed to be reinstated in 2020 by voter proposition), so one of San Francisco's top high schools decided to to just scrap its merit based admissions system in favor of a pure lottery 

https://www.ktvu.com/news/lowell-high-school-alumni-seek-court-injunction-to-reverse-admissions-change

Jan 25, 2022 - 8:51am
neink, what's your opinion? Comment below:

they also started scrapping en masse the advanced subject programs for talented pupils, the only way to achieve equal outcome: level everything to the ground

and now you know why the soviet union went to hell

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Jan 25, 2022 - 9:36am
therealgekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

California is seeing massive emigration to other states, finally freed by remote work due to Covid. No one wants to put up with extremely high COL / absurd tax regime that is getting worse by the year and most who leave don't like the alt left political regime where you sacrifice education to appease the PC crowd. Asians / Indians especially absolutely hate anything that infringes on quality of education, so it's already seeing in the data and will continue to see a massive brain drain

California could afford to implement with retarded liberal policies for several decades because SF was THE hub of innovation & people put up with it for the opportunity. Now with remote work (fun fact that shocked me -- 70% of startups are hiring remote these days) people are not only leaving SF but even more importantly people are not MOVING to SF. So a lot of the talent that would start companies there is just doing so elsewhere (totally normal to pitch on Zoom these days to VCs). For that matter, U.S. more broadly is losing share of innovation as people are just starting companies where they live or at the very least an outsized share of non-U.S. folks are being hired even for U.S. startups (remote). Regardless though, SF & CA more broadly will find that its share of U.S. GDP will precipitously decline vs prior years over time -- you will be able to see some of this in the data already but need to wait for a few years to establish a clear trend line. Just be satisfied that you'll be vindicated quite shortly here

Now I hear they're also not just scrapping SAT subject tests but dumbing down the SAT further this yr (for the 4th time in the test's history). And people wonder why American education is in the toilet 

Jan 25, 2022 - 12:28pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It has to be all or nothing one way or another. The end. Pure lottery? Awesome, no bull, no advantages or disadvantages, purely luck. Of course, if you found out someone happened to have a thumb on the scale...there's your new boogeyman to prosecute. The other end of purely merit based on grades and academic resume? Also awesome, no bull, the only advantages are of the student's own making, same for disadvantages, supposedly pure skill. And again, of course if you found out someone happened to have a thumb on the scale...there's your new boogeyman to prosecute.

Both offer the pure epitome of equal opportunity, are built by design for equitable outcomes, and cast diversity out as a purely coincidental factor which is how it should be treated anyways. Besides, as long as they serve Domino's for lunch everyone wins!

Jan 25, 2022 - 9:41am
thehalifaxgroup, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The absurd amounts of scale-tilting just for being black in 2022 is unreal. They're glorified for rap culture (which is just drugs, violence, and extreme misogyny), pardoned for 13/50 crime, and given free passes until the end of time due to a crappy thing that happened to them several hundred years ago

Can't wait for AA to go away and we all play on a level field

Jan 25, 2022 - 10:59am
lekkeroke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm afraid that as long as college admissions are 'holistic' and not driven by hard data schools will find a way to racially discriminate against whites and asians.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 25, 2022 - 11:57am

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Jan 25, 2022 - 12:23pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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