Black Education / Schools : Study finds that 'other' checked mostly by whites

Discussion in 'Black Education / Schools' started by dustyelbow, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Like to be different from white and black people. Away from white ignorance and black poverty and ignorance. College seems the place to do that. But are you prepared to meet those "others" face to face. They have the attitude of greater society. And probably the face too. This article will lead into my next piece.

    Study finds that 'other' checked mostly by whites
    By Katie Silberman, The Dartmouth Staff
    Published on Wednesday, March 8, 2006

    Although a new study suggests that the majority of college applicants who define their ethnicity as "other" are actually white, Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg rejected the idea that this trend skewed Dartmouth College's minority enrollment.

    The study, released by the James Irvine Foundation, a California nonprofit grant-making institution, found that between 1991 and 2001, the number of students who defined themselves as "unknown" or "other" nearly doubled from 3.2 percent to 5.9 percent of the student body, and that most of them were white.

    This research was the first major project funded by the Campus Diversity Initiative, the Irvine Foundation's $29 million effort designed to help independent colleges and universities across the country address diversity issues on their campuses.

    CDI tested three private schools in California by having students who had defined themselves as "other" on their applications fill out a survey on their ethnicity after officially matriculating. At one school, there was a 150 percent increase in the number of "other" students who then declared themselves white.

    The foundation wanted to ensure that campus leaders have accurate information about the demographics of their student populations, according to a press release from the foundation.

    Furstenberg did not believe that this increase had to do with anything other than this generation's increased awareness of the individual.

    "People in general are generally more aware of their heritage and ethnicity," he said. "On a college application there are a very limited number of options you can check."

    Despite Furstenberg's statements, the Common Application -- which is accepted at 277 national universities, including Dartmouth -- offers 10 ethnic groups with which an applicant can identify, including "other." Many of the potential definitions even specify ethnicity within themselves by asking for country of origin or tribal affiliation. Students are also encouraged to check as many or as little of the boxes as possible to give schools the most accurate portrayal of their ethnicity.

    The trends found in the study could have very negative implications on college diversity. Most people assume that most, if not all, students in the "other" category are somewhat multiracial.

    "A campus may have 50 percent students of color according to enrollment data but may only have 28 percent students of color" in reality, the study said. Campuses reporting progress toward diversity by admitting larger numbers of minority and multiracial students may actually just be admitting more Caucasian students.

    Furstenberg also rejected the idea that white students may be checking the "other" box to gain an edge over other applicants when applying to colleges. Some scholars have suggested that this trend is part of the affirmative action backlash and increasingly competitive selection processes.

    "I think that sounds kind of preposterous," Furstenberg said. "As competitive as [applying to college] may be, I doubt that students are intentionally misleading admissions officials to try and improve their own chances."

    Furstenberg encouraged applicants to be forthcoming and secure in how they define themselves.

    "You are what you are," he said. "You might as well be yourself about it."
     
  2. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Minority education aid made available to whites

    Just using the "other" category could come in handy in this case.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Minority education aid made available to whites
    Universities fear Supreme Court ruling's effects

    By Jonathan D. Glater

    WASHINGTON - Facing threats of litigation and pressure from Washington, colleges and universities nationwide are opening to white students hundreds of thousands of dollars in fellowships, scholarships and other programs previously aimed at minorities.

    Southern Illinois University reached a consent decree last month with the Justice Department to allow nonminority students and men access to graduate fellowships originally created for women and minorities.

    In January, the State University of New York made white students eligible for $6.8 million of aid in two scholarship programs also previously available only to minorities. Pepperdine University is negotiating with the Education Department over its use of race as a criterion in its programs.

    "They're all trying to minimize their legal exposure," Susan Sturm, a law professor at Columbia University, said about colleges and universities. "The question is how are they doing that, and are they doing that in a way that's going to shut down any effort or any successful effort to diversify the student body?"

    The institutions are reacting to two 2003 Supreme Court cases on using race in admissions at the University of Michigan. Although the cases did not ban using race in admissions to higher education, they did leave the state of the law unclear. With the changing composition of the court, university officials fear legal challenges.

    The affected areas include programs for high schools and graduate fellowships.

    It is far too early to determine the effects of the changes on the presence of minorities in higher education and how far the pool of money for scholarships and similar programs will stretch.

    Facts are elusive
    Firm data on how many institutions have modified their policies is elusive because colleges and institutions are not eager to trumpet the changes. At least a handful are seeking to put more money into the programs as they expand the possible pool of applicants.

    Some white students are qualifying for the aid. Last year, in response to a legal threat from the Education Department, Washington University in St. Louis modified the standards for an undergraduate scholarship that had been open just to minorities and was named for the first black dean at the university. This year, 12 of the 42 first-year recipients are white.

    Officials at conservative groups that are pushing for the changes see the shift as a sign of success in eliminating race as a factor in decision making in higher education.

    "Our concern is that the law be followed and that nobody be denied participation in a program on account of skin color or what country their ancestors came from," said Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

    "We're not looking at achieving a particular racial outcome," Clegg said. "And it's unfortunate that some organizations seem to view the success or failure of the program based simply on what percentage of students of this color or that color can participate."

    Advocates of focused scholarship programs like Theodore Shaw, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., challenge the notion that programs for minority students hurt whites.

    "How is it that they conclude that the great evil in this country is discrimination against white people?" Shaw asked. "Can I put that question any more pointedly? I struggle to find the words to do it because it's so stunning."
     
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