Weekly Wonder: Opinions about affirmative action a toss up

By Susannah Sudborough
BU News Service

BOSTON –Gallup published a press release on Oct. 22 reminding the public of current findings on affirmative action, in response to a high-profile lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions, a group of Asian-American students against Harvard University.

In 2017, Pew Research Center published a survey showing that the percentage of people who approve of affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of black and minority students on college campuses increased from 60 percent in 2003 to 71 percent in 2017.

Yet, in 2016, Gallup published a survey that found that 70 percent of Americans think that colleges should admit applicants solely based on merit, instead of considering race and ethnicity to promote diversity.

The Gallup survey also found that among African-Americans, only 44 percent agreed that race should be considered when colleges are admitting students.

In the lawsuit against Harvard, the students allege that the university was discriminatory in their admissions process by setting a strict quota on the amount of Asian-American students that can be admitted.

Harvard denies that they have a quota and claims that they consider race along with many other factors, in what they call a holistic admissions process.

The plaintiffs argue that Asian-Americans are disadvantaged by this method, while white and other minority students are favored and are seeking to end affirmative action.

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The Weekly Wonder is a graphic or interactive published on Fridays by the BU News Service In-Depth and Data desk. Have a wonder and want to be on the team? Apply here, no matter your experience! 

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