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Affirmative Action and You

Beach ball in a swimming pool standing for a pool of college applicants

Abigail Fisher is having the unusual experience of a second appearance before the nation's highest tribunal, the Supreme Court. She is arguing that the University of Texas discriminated against her because of her race (she is white) when the institution admitted black students with lower grades and test scores. Read the whole story here:

What effect does this case -- or colleges' use of affirmative action in general -- have on a regular applicant's prospects? In a word, not much. In order to understand why, it is necessary to understand how colleges like the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, Harvard, and most private colleges look at their applicants.

During the admissions process, colleges generally assign applicants to certain categories based on things like race, income, geography, athletic ability, and legacy status. Applicants are then judged against the other applicants in that category. Each school chooses the applicants that are most attractive to them (for whatever reason) from each pool. It therefore seems highly unlikely that Abigail Fisher's qualifications were ever compared with the qualifications of any black students; she was compared with other whites of similar background. Those other whites evidently had stronger records, because they gained admission and she did not.

When you apply, admissions officers will also place you in a pool with applicants the college sees as similar. To gain admission, you will need to stand out within that pool. It's as simple (or as difficult) as that!

Let me help you stand out in whatever applicant pool you find yourself in. Just click the button below for a free consultation, or give me a call at 847-660-8625.

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