Affirmative Action and the class system

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Rather than relying on racial ethnicity as a guideline for diversity and equal rights, perhaps it’s time to look at income levels and social classes when it comes to college admissions.

While it is being argued throughout state and federal governments whether or not to allow for affirmative action to be included in the admissions process for higher education, there is another option that is being whispered about in the proverbial back rooms and around water coolers.

Instead of focusing primarily on the race and/or gender of applicants, why not focus on the income and social class to determine college admissions? This idea is not as radical as it may seem, because it is already being utilized by numerous colleges around the country.

Many of those men and women who are crying out for more racial diversity in the college system might not see the benefits of such a program on the surface, but racial diversity will continue to grow and thrive along with socioeconomic diversity.

Imagine if colleges sat back and took into account the annual income of their students when it came time to admit prospective students for enrollment. There would be spread sheets and bar graphs, itemized lists of students declared family income and all that.

Now, instead of admitting another student who’s family owns numerous houses in upscale neighborhoods, they look at the students on the other end of the spectrum. We’ve all heard, at one time or another, about someone who was denied entry into such hallowed halls as Stanford or Yale simply because they didn’t come from an affluent family. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see that kind of segregation come to an end?

College is only a pipe dream to those who are convinced it is not an option for them. If it becomes an option, a viable and believable goal, than we could see a shift in the educational future of generations for the foreseeable future.

There are critics speaking out against this concept, of course, but the ideals and theories behind the plan are sound and well thought out. If this was just a random suggestion being made then the criticisms would make sense, but there is proof that it works.

Colleges in Colorado, Arizona and Florida have been utilizing class-based admissions over racial based admissions with great success, and by focusing on class there has been an increase in the admissions of underrepresented minority groups.

The lawmakers in this country are quick to cite racial inequality for the discrepancies in our educational system, but the inequality based around income is the true problem. It doesn’t matter if a student is black or white, because the color that really determines college educations is green.