Phi Beta Cons

The Extent of Preferences

With some references to my review of No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, John Rosenberg takes a lengthy, data-filled, must-read stab at unraveling affirmative-action researchers’ favorite contradiction: They claim that racial preferences don’t hurt whites and Asians’ chances of admission, but also that racial preferences are absolutely crucial to preserving diversity on campus. Since admissions are a zero-sum game — when one person gets in, that means another person doesn’t — both can’t be true.

Using various data sets, Rosenberg quantifies the effect affirmative action has had on unpreferred groups. For example, the numbers seem to indicate that the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science & the Arts rejected nearly 900 potential undergrads in a single year based on racial considerations.

There’s a lot of good stuff there, so read the whole thing.

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