Whining pays off in admissions

    How did you get into UCSD? Was it a high SAT score? A high GPA? Because you live in a one-parent household? Or maybe because you had a death in the family during high school?

    If you chose one of the first two choices, you may be part of a dying breed chosen for admission to UC campuses.

    The UC system has decided to circumvent the abolition of what California voters declared forbidden in 1996: affirmative action.

    For those of you not familiar with affirmative action, its core underlying philosophy is the preference of one group of people over another on the basis of race. The University of California’s jaded new policy is the haphazardly disguised reinstatement of the fallen affirmative action law.

    So how does it work? Well, it’s rather simple. Admittance to UC schools can be thought of as based on points, with more points giving you an edge over other potential students in the admissions process.

    Traditionally, points have been awarded to students based on academic merit, such as a high GPA or high test scores. Nevertheless, with new admissions policies, a student can earn points through very nonacademic means.

    According to John Leo of U.S. News and World Report these “”opportunities”” include “”personal struggle”” and “”difficult personal and family situations or circumstances”” — wholly arbitrary means of admission.

    Points can also come a student’s way if he or she has to “”overcome a physical handicap, needed to work after school, was fired or downsized at work, lives in a single-parent or low-income home, or comes from a family in which neither parent went to high school,”” just to name a few.

    What it comes down to is the preference of one group over another. In this case, there is a clear preference toward inner-city children by means of default, since they are the ones more likely to grow up in single-parent households, have both parents not complete high school and have other hard-luck stories.

    So the next time someone tells you your family is messed up, tell them, “”Hey, they’re getting me into college.””

    What this is teaching kids is disastrous. In essence, the more screwed up you and your family are, the better fit you are to go off to one of the best college systems in the entire United States: the UC system.

    Any way you dress it up — whether it’s described as a race issue, a class issue (poor vs. rich) or any other preferred pseudonym — it’s still preferential treatment sanctioned by the University of California.

    The University of California’s admittance program is the complete opposite of equality, something I’m sure the policy is enforced in the name of. In a nation where just about everybody agrees that the preference of any group of people over any other is considered immoral and downright evil, when it comes to the poor and residents of inner-city areas (mostly minorities), why do we throw consistency to the wind, thinking no one will notice?

    In any way, shape or form, the taking into account of race or any other 00000000preference is not only wrong, it’s diminutive, causing those students who enter college on this free ticket to question the validity of their being on campus.

    In essence, the University of California is saying that without its help, some groups of people are destined not to go to college. How dare they? The greatest thing it can do is set an example, tear down its spurious policies and let everyone know they are once again accepting students on merit, not special circumstances that have nothing to do with an applicant’s academic ability.

    What this policy also means is that in a school system where there are a limited number of openings, some more qualified students are being pushed out of the way in favor of students with sob stories.

    Why should a deciding factor for any student be anything but academic merit? Just like excluding anyone on the basis of race is wrong, including anyone on the basis of race, hardships, personal stories or a handicap is wrong. C’mon, folks, let’s be consistent here.

    The UC system has hit a new low — in effect, admitting those students who complain the most, creating the most maudlin tale. Meanwhile, the policy is completly disregarding a student’s academic merit.

    However, this isn’t just a UC problem. Schools nationwide are trying to sneak in affirmative action policies right under our noses.

    “”The University of Texas,”” Leo wrote, “”is also reserving scholarships for graduates of 130 state high schools that have traditionally not sent many students to the campus.””

    So just because students from your particular high school happen to not find themselves at UC campuses — bingo, you’re in!

    Putting the tame admission policies of both UC and UT schools to shame, the University of Michigan takes the cake — heck, they take the whole bakery. They alarmingly give six times the number of points to a student for simply belonging to a minority (whatever that means) than for a good essay, and just under double the points than what is given for a perfect SAT score!

    We must stop this reverse discrimination and the message it sends to college students: Hard work is not the way to success, a sob story is. Besides, who wants to be cheaply and falsely awarded admittance? We used to look at scholastic work as measuring a student’s capabilities. Now it’s “”politically incorrect.””

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