The majority of Americans believe that race and ethnicity should not be taken into consideration by colleges and universities while making admissions decisions, according to a new Pew Research Center Survey.
The survey found that 73 percent of Americans said that race and ethnicity considerations should stay out of the admissions process, 19 percent said it should be a minor factor in admissions, and only seven percent said that it should be a major factor.
White adults were most likely to hold this view, with 78 percent agreeing that race and ethnicity should not be a weighting factor in admissions. Only 65 percent of Hispanics, 62 percent of blacks, and 59 percent of Asians felt the same way.
The survey also uncovered large political divisions surrounding the topic. 85 percent of Republicans believed that race and ethnicity should not be a factor in college admissions, while only 64 percent of Democrats could say the same.
When it comes to the admissions criteria that Americans believe colleges should consider, 67 percent said high school grades should be a major factor, 47 percent mentioned standardized test scores, and 21 percent mentioned community service involvement, among others.
“Across several of these items, views vary by education, with those holding at least a bachelor’s degree generally more likely than those with less education to say they should be at least a minor factor in college admissions, ” the survey results state.
The consideration of race as a factor in college admissions has recently been a point of debate across the country since Harvard University went to trial for allegedly discriminating against Asian students last October.
The University of California system was also sued in November 2018 for using race as part of its criteria in admissions decisions after it received flak over a decline in its enrollment of black and Hispanic students.