New York, NY (June 12, 2013) – With a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a high-profile affirmative action case (Fisher v University of Texas at Austin) due imminently, a new Kaplan Test Prep survey shows that a majority of future college students value racial diversity in their own campus experience.
The survey of 689 high school students finds that 60 percent say it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” for the college they attend to have a racially diverse student body.
“For students who seek racial diversity as part of their campus experience, the reality is that most schools are committed to it, regardless of what the Supreme Court may decide on race conscious affirmative action,” said Seppy Basili, vice president of college admissions and K-12 programs, Kaplan Test Prep.
Basili notes alternative approaches to ensure diversity are already in use by colleges and universities across the country through expanding financial aid, implementing economic affirmative action, eliminating legacy preferences and instituting percent plans based on class ranking, like those already in place in Texas, Florida and California.Kaplan’s survey asked teens about the importance they place on multiple factors related to campus life, in addition to racial diversity. Of greatest importance to students was a “socially conscious campus community” (82 percent); less important to them were “strong programs in music, art, or performing arts” (49 percent); “a competitive sports program” (49 percent); and a “vibrant Greek (fraternity/sorority) life” (31 percent).
The Fisher lawsuit, filed by a white applicant who was denied admission to the University of Texas, argues that Texas’ Top 10 Percent Plan, which guarantees admission to any Texas public college for residents in the top 10th of their high school class, has produced sufficient levels of diversity at UT-Austin that the school has no need to give extra consideration to applicants based on race.
In addition to the pending Fisher decision, a second Supreme Court case up for review in the fall promises to make affirmative action a continued topic of debate in the months to come; the upcoming Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action challenges the constitutionality of a ban on “preferential treatment” on the basis of race and other factors in college admissions.
The online survey was conducted in May and June 2013 of 689 Kaplan Test Prep students who prepared for the May and June administrations of the SAT and ACT.About Kaplan Test Prep Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry.