But now that they can’t consider race, how will the University of Michigan ensure a varied student body?
Rick Fitzgerald, the University of Michigan’s Associate Director of Public Affairs, said the university will pursue “other avenues” to ensure diversity –- including considering as socioeconomic and geographic factors.
“It’s tough, but ... we’ll continue to stay focused on new ways to connect with minority students -– attract them and once they’re here, keep them on campus,” Fitzgerald said.
Both Gratz and Driver support taking socioeconomic indicators into account.
But Driver cautions that’s not enough.
“There’s an impression that race and poverty can be analogous,” she said. “They’re not.”
By Any Means Necessary believes schools should be allowed to weigh both factors in admission decisions.
As Washington puts it, rich minorities still suffer from “isolation,” while poor minorities are “doubly disadvantaged.”
But since Michigan’s public universities are barred from using affirmative action, Driver recommends the University of Michigan should stop using test scores.
Driver, who called the SAT a “white preference test,” said that banning affirmative action prevents schools from taking test biases into account.
Moreover, adopting a top 10 percent (or top 8 percent or top 3 percent, depending on capacity) rule would ensure that students from minority districts still have a chance to attend the University of Michigan, as long as they work hard.
For the record, the College Board, the organization behind the SAT test, disputes Driver’s claim, saying they pretest each question to make sure they’re fair to all students, regardless of race.
Both women believe that a colorblind society is not just an ideal.
“It’s absolutely achievable,” Driver said.
The Supreme Court decision may have come in –- but when it comes to tolerance, the jury’s still out.