Using the National Study of College Experience (NSCE) — a collection of information from eight anonymous elite colleges — authors Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford are able to calculate various applicants’ odds of getting into a school. They discover some mildly interesting trends regarding social class (more on that later), but their results for race are truly stunning. After academic performance and demographic factors have been taken into account, black applicants are more than five times as likely as whites to be accepted at NSCE private schools, and 220 times as likely to be accepted at NSCE public schools. Asian applicants, meanwhile, are only about a third as likely as whites to get big envelopes from private institutions, and one-fifth as likely to gain admission to public ones.If I were Asian, I'd be more ticked than I already am.
Putting preferences in terms of test scores, at private schools, blacks get an advantage, compared to whites, worth 310 SAT points (out of 1600), Hispanics an advantage of 130, and Asians a disadvantage of 140. At public schools, the authors present the difference in ACT points: blacks 3.8 (out of 36), Hispanics 0.3, Asians –3.4.
If we look at students who actually matriculate, blacks are far more likely than whites to come from the bottom 80 percent of their high-school classes (27 percent versus 12 percent), have high-school GPAs of B+ or below (32 versus 18 percent), and have SAT scores below 1000 (21 versus 2 percent).
The logical conclusion from this mountain of evidence is obvious: Top-of-the-line schools use severe racial preferences. (boldface mine--Darren)
One important thing to bear in mind is that the authors’ sample — the elite schools in the NSCE — is not representative. Without affirmative action, the minority students who failed to get into NSCE schools would likely go to lower-tier schools rather than skipping college entirely. It’s hard to tell what would happen at those lower-tier schools.
For every lesser-qualified kid who gets into a school because of the color of his skin, a more qualified kid is excluded from that school because of the color of his skin. Is that really so benign?