Edition 138 - October 2012

A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences

Kahlenberg, R. D., & Potter, H. A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences. The Century Foundation, New York, 2012. Pages: 76.

This report proposes an alternative to race-based affirmative action in admission to universities in the United States (US) – the criterion of class-based affirmative action. The authors suggest that consideration of socio-economic factors, such as parental income and education level or wealth of the student’s neighbourhood, is important to promote economic and racial justice. The authors illustrate this point by analysing the policies that have been put into place in the seven US states that have already banned race-based admissions. Their analysis shows that, after an initial drop in the racial diversity of university students after the introduction of the race-based admissions ban, in most states the proportion of minority students increased to similar levels or even surpassed previous levels.

The Century Foundation

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