The negative consequences of affirmative action are obvious. Admission requires racial preference. Admissions based on race rather than merit also leads to a lack of minorities in STEM disciplines.
The need for racial preference is especially apparent at elite universities like Harvard and Yale where there are almost no black or Hispanic students. These schools have resorted to creative ways of attracting applicants from underrepresented groups including offering extra points for Asian candidates, lowering standards to accept more students and creating special programs to help minority children get into college.
These measures are not only unfair to other candidates who may be more qualified but also risk degrading the quality of education at these institutions. Using race as a factor in admissions decisions creates a culture of discrimination that cannot be easily undone. The future leaders of our country should be able outnumber their counterparts from underrepresented groups and contribute their ideas and opinions instead of relying on favors done for them.
Affirmative action has been criticized for putting an unfair burden on minorities by denying them access to opportunities reserved for others. It also undermines the principle of equality before the law because some groups are treated differently just because they belong to a certain race or ethnic group.
Additionally, affirmative action can lead to increased hostility between the beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the policy.
Perhaps the most unfortunate side consequence of affirmative action is that minority students' tremendous academic achievements might be jeopardized. It is sometimes impossible to discern if a certain student deserves to be admitted to Stanford or whether he is there because he fits into some type of diversity matrix. If this happens, it removes any motivation for these students to work hard and they will simply use their admission as a license to slack off.
There are also concerns that using race as a factor in admissions decisions creates a culture at universities where other qualities such as talent are not given equal weight. This could lead to universities making choices based on racial stereotypes about ability and interest. For example, if many black applicants are recruited as athletes then they will be likely be given preferential treatment over white applicants who do not fit this stereotype.
Finally, some argue that affirmative action undermines diversity by allowing minorities to be placed above whites who would otherwise be admitted under a system where each applicant is treated equally. The idea is that if you give people what they want then they will continue to ask for more, which in this case would mean giving up genuine diversity in order to keep up appearances.
In conclusion, affirmative action violates equality before the law because it gives special privileges to certain groups of people based on their race or gender. It also creates a culture at universities where other qualities are not given equal weight which can have negative consequences for all students.
When underrepresented minority groups have more access to education, they have a better chance of improving their economic condition. Affirmative action, in a similar vein, permits students to pursue a vocation that might otherwise be out of reach due to educational prerequisites. It gives marginalized groups the opportunity to explore careers that may not otherwise exist.
Higher education institutions that want to increase diversity must go beyond token gestures and implement effective policies that truly benefit minorities. Such policies can include flexible scheduling, multiple-choice tests rather than essays as part of the application process, and tuition discounts for low-income students.
Affirmative action is needed because the traditional system of awarding college degrees has proven inadequate in preparing young people from all backgrounds to compete in the job market. The majority of workers will be doing so-called white collar jobs that do not require a degree. Thus, it is important that everyone have equal opportunities to learn about and apply for these jobs.
In addition, higher education institutions seek out diverse student bodies because research shows that a multidisciplinary perspective and increased exposure to different cultures help students develop broader perspectives on life issues as well as career options.
Finally, universities hope to attract a diverse group of applicants by promoting awareness of their programs.
Disadvantages of Affirmative Action Talented people may be denied equal chances merely because they do not belong to a minority group. It may also lead to animosity between the dominant and minority communities. Finally, affirmative action may distract from more effective methods for improving educational opportunities.
These are the disadvantages of an affirmative action program. Do any of them apply to your situation? If so, how can you avoid them?
An affirmative action program may deny individuals their rights under the law by denying them access to benefits or positions based on their race. This could include denying people admission into universities, hiring practices by employers, or any other advantage.
Under an affirmative action program, minorities would be granted special privileges over others. This could cause resentment among the majority community as they feel like they are being excluded from certain opportunities.
Affirmative action programs may work in the short term, but will not solve the underlying problems that caused inequality in the first place. In the long run, these programs may even be counter-productive as they could prevent more talented individuals from participating in the decision making process.
The disadvantages of affirmative action may not apply to your situation.