Racial diversity on campuses : The Adversity-Diversity Tango

There is good news ahead for those college administrators (that means all college administrators) who want to ensure they create the perfect racial diversity mix on college campuses.  While the specific use of race may not be used as a determining factor for college admissions, there are, shall we say, rules and then there are rules.

There is good news ahead for those college administrators (that means all college administrators) who want to ensure they create the perfect racial diversity mix on college campuses.  While the specific use of race may not be used as a determining factor for college admissions, there are, shall we say, rules and then there are rules.

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Racial diversity on college campuses: The Adversity-Diversity Tango

-By Curtice Mung

There is good news ahead for those college administrators (that means all college administrators) who want to ensure they create the perfect racial diversity mix on college campuses.  While the specific use of race may not be used as a determining factor for college admissions, there are, shall we say, rules and then there are rules.

News came down recently that the College Board is adding an “adversity score” to the SAT scores for college applicants.  It’s a way to (wink, wink) use race as a factor without having to use race as a factor. It’s like the NBA instituted a new rule whereby its teams could not use a player’s height as a factor when drafting college players.  Rather than checking a player’s height, they would merely examine his pants measurement.

“We really like the kid from Duke for his long-range shooting and his 42-inch inseam.”

Taking a detour around the rule to achieve the same result.

College administrators are great at creating rules for others to follow and also great at avoiding those imposed upon them that they don’t like.  And who says that colleges don’t teach anything these days?

Racial diversity is the Holy Grail of Holy Grails for college administrators.  The right racial diversity mix is very important, just ask them.  How many white students is too many?  Whatever number they have now.  Asians?  Do all of them really need math or computer science degrees?  Can’t some of them go to air conditioning repair school or become drywall installers?  The country needs those too, you know.

The College Board won’t say how the “adversity score” will be calculated.  “Trust us”, they say.  Nonetheless, we have obtained a preliminary outline for some of the questions that will be used for achieving an adversity score:

  1. What transportation do you take to get to school?

A) My mom or dad takes me (+10 points)

B) Dad? (+30 points)

C) School bus (+20 points)

D) Public transportation (+30 points)

E) Walk to School (+20 points)

F) 2010 Hyundai Elantra (+3 points)

G) 2018 Audi A3 (-100 points)

H)I don’t attend school (+100 points)

  1. What is the size of your primary television?

A) 1. 52 inches or greater (-25 points)

B) 42-51 inches (-10 points)

C) 32-41 inches (0 points)

D) Less than 32 inches (+15 points)

E) I don’t own a television (+50 points)

F) Our television was repossessed (+75 points)

Answer question #3 only if you have a television in your home.

  1. Do you have any of the following?

A) HBO (-5 points)

B) Showtime (-5 points)

C) Starz (+10 points)

D) Sports package (-5 points)

E) Don’t have cable or satellite, I just stream what I want on my tablet. (0 points)

  1. How many drive through liquor stores are within walking distance of your home?

A) 0 (-25 points)

B) 1-2 (-15 points)

C) 3-5 (+5 points)

D) More than 5 (+15 points)

  1. How many liquor stores have you robbed?

A) 0 (-25 points)

B) 1-2 (-25 points)

C) 3-5 (+15 points)

D) More than 5 (+50 points)

  1. Did you participate in any of these sports in high school?

A) Football (+20 points)

B) Basketball (+85 points)

C) Baseball (-10 points)

D) Soccer (+ 85 points)

E) Cross Country (-100 points)

F) Golf (-100 points)

G) Swimming (-100 points)

  1. Do you or any family members have gang affiliations?

A) Yes (+40 points)

B) No (0 points)

  1. Do you or any family members belong to the Kiwanis Club?

A) Yes (-40 points)

B) No (0 points)

Colleges like racial diversity because the pictures look good on school brochures and fabulous on their YouTube channels.  Plus, it ultimately leads to federal dollars in their coffers.  But it leaves many hard-working middle-class high school graduates on the outside looking in.  Unless, of course, their parents make strategic decisions, as the exchange below illustrates:

“I had no idea that getting accepted to a college was so complicated these days,” said Byron, the father of three.  “The forms, the income verification, the this and the that.  Now they’ve got this Adversity Score.  Who even knows what that’s about?”

“I know, Dad,” replied Alex, Byron’s oldest son and soon-to-be high school graduate.  I think I might have to cheat to get in, even though my grades should be good enough”

“We just have to be creative,” Byron retorted.  “For example, I’m thinking about selling our house here in Billings and moving us to south-central Los Angeles.  That should really help us build up your diversity score.”

“Oh, and I may have to leave your mother,” Byron continued.

But, but…” Alex sputtered.

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“It’ll only be until you are accepted into Boise State.  After that, your mom and I will be back in business.”

“But, Dad, I don’t want you to break up your marriage, even for a little while.”, Alex exhorted.  “And I really don’t want to move to LA.  Nobody moves to LA anymore, they all move away from there.   And I’m an A student, it shouldn’t be this tough to get accepted”

“You won’t be breaking us up, Alex”, said Byron, “That’s Boise State’s doing.  Besides, your mom has wanted to visit her sister for a while anyway.  This new adversity scoring practically guarantees that you won’t get in with your grades.  Also, I have decided to quit my job as a loan officer at the bank.  I figure that we’ll really play up the whole poverty angle. I can probably get a job at a check cashing store.  They don’t pay anything.  And I should stop paying the car loan too.  If it gets repossessed, it’ll give you a real boost.  And you’ve got no criminal record.  A real disadvantage.  Why don’t you go smoke some pot in front of the police station? You want to get into Boise State, Right?”

Who needs merit when you have adversity scoring?

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