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Pew: Half of Americans disapprove of college admissions based on race

An overwhelming majority of people say grades, standardized test scores and community service should rank higher into getting into American universities.

College campus. Credit: Pixabay.
College campus. Credit: Pixabay.

Ahead of Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the Pew Research Center released data from two surveys.

Just 33% of U.S. adults support selective colleges and universities considering race and ethnic background in admissions decisions, while half disapprove and 16% are unsure, per the first survey.

Many more Republicans and independents who lean Republican (74%) oppose these sorts of admissions decisions, while 54% of Democrats and those who lean Democrat approve.

The second survey—this one focused on Asian-American adults—found that 53% of Asian adults who have heard of affirmative action view it positively, although 76% said that colleges should not factor race or ethnicity into admissions.

“Overall, majorities of Asian adults across gender, age, education and origin groups say race or ethnicity should not factor into college admissions,” according to Pew.

An overwhelming majority said that grades (87%), standardized test scores and community service (71%) should factor into admissions. Much fewer (33%) thought that athletic ability should be part of the admissions calculus, and an even smaller group (10%) supported family connections (“legacies”).

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