Survey: Most Support a Diverse College Campus, but Not Admissions by Race Alone. (Affirmative Action Watch)

Article excerpt

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.

A new national survey finds that public opinion on racial considerations in college admissions shows that most Americans support having a diverse collegiate population, but do not feel that race alone should be a factor.

The survey, conducted by Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, found that 85 percent of Americans feel living in a diverse atmosphere prepares students to function in society better.

The findings also reveal 78 percent of Americans believe that the institutions should make at least some effort to make up for students' economic situation when considering them for admission.

But the survey also showed that most Americans, including minorities, do not feel that colleges and universities should explicitly use a student's race as a deciding factor in the admissions process. According to the findings, 80 percent of all Americans and 64 percent of minorities oppose race-conscious admissions.

More strongly though, Americans disapprove of schools considering the high social status of an applicant's parents in the admissions process by 92 percent. They also oppose consideration of a student's gender (83 percent), athletic ability (56 percent) or if an applicant's parent or grandparent graduated from the school to which the student is applying (75 percent).

When asked what should be considered in the admissions process, Americans strongly supported a comprehensive approach that considers both quantitative and qualitative factors. …