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Social Issues: Appropriateness of Affirmative Action Essay

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Updated: Mar 17th, 2020

Affirmative action can be discussed as a policy developed to address the issue of racial discrimination in American society. The problem is in the fact that the focus on affirmative action as the way to respond to the minority’s needs is often considered as a controversial idea because of different attitudes to the policy represented by the members of the racial majority and minority.

Affirmative action in the sphere of education can be discussed as the appropriate approach to evaluate the admissions of college students because it can guarantee the equal access to the limited educational resources for students of color and the white majority.

The main legal issues associated with affirmative action in the college admission process are based on the opposite ideas that racial quotas similar to the affirmative action policy are illegal and that affirmative action is effective to promote diversity in the student body of elite and selective institutions and serve the community’s diverse needs.

On the one hand, affirmative action can contribute to discriminating against white students because of the promotion of racial quotas in the college admission process.

The argument for this position is that the incorrect use of affirmative action in evaluating students’ admissions can lead to biases, unfair competition, and to the overuse of racial criteria. The strength of this argument is in the fact that the policy cannot work to correct the racial imbalance in institutions, but it can provoke stronger discrimination. As a result, affirmative action is seen as the illegal approach to evaluating the students’ college admissions.

On the other hand, affirmative action provides the opportunity for the underrepresented students to compete in the sphere of education as equals because of avoiding race domination in the process. The focus on the non-white students’ qualifications, performance, and grades promoted with affirmative action become legally supported with two compelling arguments for such an approach in evaluating the students’ admissions.

Thus, affirmative action serves to address the educational institutions’ focus on promoting diversity in the student body. Non-white students receive the opportunity to enter elite and selective institutions in spite of the limited access to resources and because of their qualifications and grades.

The next compelling argument is the focus on institutions’ responses to the diverse needs of the community. Fixation on grades of students is possible for addressing the excellence of colleges, but it should be supported with making non-white students eligible for joining the college community.

Affirmative action can be discussed as the legal initiative which contributes to admitting the fact of the non-white students’ eligibility.

Although there are still debates regarding the effectiveness of affirmative action in the sphere of education, it is possible to state that affirmative action is appropriate to evaluate the college students’ admissions because this policy provides students of color with the opportunity to compete in the college admission process along with the white majority and because affirmative action allows decreasing the gap between the evaluation of students according to their performance and qualifications and evaluation of students according to their grades.

From this point, affirmative action operates the idea of eligibility as the focus on grades and performance, but affirmative action is also the way to create a diverse student body. Thus, this idea can be discussed as a compelling interest in many elite and selective institutions which need to support their high status.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Social Issues: Appropriateness of Affirmative Action." March 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-issues-appropriateness-of-affirmative-action/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Social Issues: Appropriateness of Affirmative Action'. 17 March.

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