While college websites project racial diversity and opponents of affirmative action claim that white applicants face discrimination, the reality is that America's top universities admit fewer Black and Latinx students than they did in 1980. Admissions policies typically favor white students—legacy preference, suspected quotas against Asian American students, rural recruiting, and athletics all exclude students of color (at many highly selective colleges, 65–79% of athletes are white due to “country club sports” such as water polo, golf, etc.). Race-conscious admission policies can offset some of that harm. Affirmative action allows admission officers to look at candidates' life experiences in order to more accurately compare the achievements of similarly qualified applicants. Due to factors such as race, gender, disability, or LGBTQ+ identity, some students will have had to work harder to overcome obstacles (race-based obstacles include educator bias, disciplinary disparities, discriminatory testing policies,* racial stress, the ongoing impact of redlining on school funding, and so on). Our college search factors in race and ethnicity in order to provide students with the most accurate admission odds.
*For instance, when Black students outperform white students on experimental SAT questions, the algorithm removes those questions to avoid disrupting the SAT’s normed bell curve (“The Scandal of Standardized Tests” by Wake Forest University Professor Joseph Soares).