Competing for college

Competing for college

Race factoring into college admissions sounds unimaginable. However, recent allegations against prominent universities might prove otherwise. 

In February 2021, the nonprofit group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to evaluate whether Harvard University was using race as a factor of discrimination against Asian-American applicants during the admissions process. SFFA filed a lawsuit against Harvard in 2014, claiming that Harvard’s admissions process fails to meet the Supreme Court’s race-conscious criteria and that the university was intentionally discriminating against Asian Americans.  

“I feel that discrimination against Asian Americans in the college admissions process is very wrong. The standard to which they [admissions officers] hold us at is something many people cannot achieve. This leaves many Asian Americans having to stress even more about academics. Also, it makes us have to possibly pick schools that are not as competitive to ensure that we are not held to that standard,” Kian Gibbons, senior, said. 

The case is one of the many representations of prejudice and intolerance as an ongoing issue in institutions across the United States. At Etowah, many students and faculty members have taken steps to ensure inclusivity among the student body, along with providing materials that educate students about various cultures. In fact, in January 2022, Etowah’s Diversity Council created a campus-wide campaign celebrating the Chinese New Year.  

During my time of service on the Diversity Council, I recognized the importance of promoting a positive school climate (…) I think that respect is lacking for students, teachers, and administrators. In response, the Diversity Council improved the one ability that everyone struggles with: listening. This one skill is the most important of all. Without the ability to listen effectively, assumptions are made, and people are easily misunderstood,” Rhys Moritz, sophomore and Diversity Council member, said. 

Although college has become increasingly competitive over the years, students are rising to the challenge and overcoming various obstacles. Many feel they are able to tackle college applications better in a more positive school environment.  

 “Etowah does a great job with making everyone feel equal and included,” Katie Aycock, senior, said.  

College admissions are meant to be fair and equal. While the ongoing allegations are disappointing to many, Etowah is continuously working to ensure a diverse and accepting school culture for all students.