Poll: 60% Americans Support Ban on Race in College Admissions

Poll: 60% Americans Support Ban on Race in College Admissions

A Washington Post-Schar School Poll shows more than 60% of Americans support a ban on the consideration of race in college admissions.

The Washington Post reported that results come as the Supreme Court revisits affirmative action six years after it upheld the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas.

The High Court is set to hear arguments in cases challenging race-based admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) later this month. According to the outlet, 63% of U.S. adults, 66% of white Americans, 65% of Asian Americans, and 60% of Hispanic Americans support the Supreme Court banning race in admissions.

However, Black Americans were the only demographic not to support banning race in college admissions, as just 47% said they supported the move.

The results show Americans are torn over policies meant to reverse decades of historical inequities regarding higher education.

“It is important to have a race-neutral approach to getting into college,” Gwen Meeks, 50, a white nurse from Garden City, Missouri, told the Washington Post.

“Nobody’s ever helped by giving people something they haven’t earned through their own hard work.”

Meeks added that she supports racial diversity in education and white people are too often given privilege.

Nine states: California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Washington, and New Hampshire, as well as numerous public colleges and universities, have currently banned the consideration of race in college admissions. However, the low number of Black men and women at Ivy League schools and other prestigious universities is among the reasons people believe affirmative action should still be used.

In two lawsuits, the Student For Fair Admissions claims that Harvard University and UNC practice unlawful discrimination by putting too much weight on an applicant’s race to the detriment of white and Asian Americans. The two Universities denied the claim, and a lower court agreed with the schools.

Meanwhile, the poll also showed that 64% of U.S. adults, 59% of white Americans, 74% of Black Americans, and 75% of Hispanic Americans support implementing programs designed to increase the racial diversity of college students.

“Colleges are there to educate all, and they need to be looking at their populations to make sure that a broader swath of society has an opportunity for a good education,” said Calvin Emanuel, 51, a Black business executive in Naperville, Illinois, who has a doctorate in chemistry.

“They should be allowed to consider race as a factor.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in the 1978 landmark case, California v. Bakke, drew six different opinions from nine justices, including Justice Lewis Powell‘s opinion that universities may consider race a factor in admissions but cannot enforce racial quotas.

“The nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation of many peoples,” Powell wrote at the time.