Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

News Flash: Universities Discriminate on the Basis of Race in Admissions


So we learn this week from U.S. News & World Report, which has a story on a study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade of top private colleges (not including Princeton, by the way) in 1997 (why so long ago?). The article emphasizes that Asians are discriminated against the most, but we also learn that Hispanics and, especially, African Americans get preferences over both whites and Asians.

I suppose we should be grateful for any MSM publicity about universities’ shameful policies in this area, even if some people are obviously more upset about Asians being discriminated against than about whites and Asians being discriminated against. Still, this is not news — the Center for Equal Opportunity has documented such discrimination at public universities for years — and the article strikes a number of off-notes.

For example, within one paragraph, the article says, “And [Princeton] says it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race or national origin,” and then quotes a university spokeswoman as saying, “Princeton considers factors such as . . . race and ethnicity.” 

Another paragraph says that Espenshade “warned against concluding that his study proved that colleges improperly discriminated” because, after all, Asians are overrepresented based on the general population; then, a few paragraphs later, there in an allusion to anti-Jewish quotas back in the bad old days. But somehow these two dots don’t get connected.

Still, as I said, it’s good that people are being reminded that the discrimination is there, it’s severe, and its victims aren’t all rich white boys.


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