According to Wikipedia, "Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, sex or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group at the expense of a majority group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination."
Now that college decisions for early applicants are rolling out, I'm thinking about how many spots are available for each university and how many spots will be taken my students at my school, students of my ethnicity, students of my socioeconomic background, etc. My friends and I were discussing the concept of affirmative action in regards to college admissions today, and there was equal dissent on both sides of the argument. On one hand, I do think that admitting people of certain races such as African-Americans, those of Hispanic origin, and other under-represented minorities is essential and very beneficial to society. Every person deserves a chance to receive an education and to have the chance to do something with their lives. Yet, I wonder if there are people who might be undeserving of a spot at a top university, but because of their decent grades and race, they are admitted.
I've seen it happen at my own school. But, who am I to judge? All I care about are my own acceptance letters. And yet, I can't help but feel frustrated that a spot well-deserved by a friend who has straight A+'s and perfect extracurricular activities, as well as passion, might be filled by someone due to affirmative action. I know that the college admissions process is really a gamble. Sometimes, it's just not your day or the reader just didn't click with your essays. But when it comes to affirmative action, I have to say I am against it.
If a student, REGARDLESS of his/her race has worked hard to get good grades, even when having to support a family and work long hours to earn money, like my own parents did, then they should have no problem getting into a top university. Hard work pays off, no? Those people deserve that chance just like everyone else. But, if my parents could do it, and if millions of other people can do it, so can they. You can't use the "Well, I come from a bad background" excuse forever. At some point, you have to break the cycle. Don't always just blame it on your race. If you work hard, you'll be rewarded. You can't expect things because of your race.