by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
America’s colleges and universities increasingly use non-academic criteria, including gender, family income and race, to decide who gets admitted and who doesn’t. It’s a trend most Americans seem to deeply dislike, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
Parents want their kids to face a merit-based admissions policy, over one that is for the lack of a better word, woke.
Indeed, if parents’ preferences mattered to institutions of higher education, schools would be making their admission decisions on such merit-based standards as academic achievements and aptitude, not woke criteria such as race and income or whether an applicant has famous parents.
I&I/TIPP asked American adults a simple question: “To what extent do you support or oppose colleges and universities using the following factors to make admission decisions?”
They then provided the following nine possible college admission criteria: “Race or ethnicity,” “Gender,” “Whether a parent went to the school,” “High school grades,” “Extracurricular activities,” “Athletic ability,” “Household income,” “The applicant is the child of a famous person,” “SAT/ACT scores.”
Possible answers included “Support strongly,” “Support somewhat,” “Oppose somewhat,” “Oppose strongly” and “Not sure.”
By grouping the “Support” answers and comparing them to the “Oppose” answers a clear message emerges: American parents and prospective parents want their kids to face a merit-based admissions policy to colleges and universities, not one that is woke.
Three categories garnered 50% or higher support among all Americans: “High school grades” (76%), “SAT/ACT scores” (67%), and “Extracurricular activities” (50%). Note that all three require individual effort and excellence.
Support falls off for the other six categories. “Athletic ability” gets 40% support, “Household income” gets 30%, “Race or ethnicity” receives 26%, “Gender” wins just 23% support, “Whether or not a parent went to the school” gains an even-lower 21% support, and, dead last, “The applicant is the child of a famous person” straggles in with only 17% support.