Is This a Quota System?


Sometime in June, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a case challenging the criteria that the University of Michigan uses when considering students for admission. So, this seems like a good time to ask your views on such matters. Please remember that, as always, this isn't a scientific poll, since anyone who wishes to can participate. That said, let us know where you stand on the issues raised in the Michigan case.

How appropriate do you think it is for universities to take into account applicants' special characteristics -- such as their race, economic status, or athletic achievements -- when making admissions decisions?

Very appropriate

Somewhat appropriate

No more appropriate than not

Somewhat inappropriate

Totally inappropriate

Not sure

The University of Michigan judges applicants on a 150-point scale, where 110 points relate to academic performance. It also awards points to candidates based on a variety of other characteristics. Which of the following nonacademic point awards that Michigan uses do you think make sense (choose as many as you like):

Underrepresented minorities (African American, Native American, Hispanic): 20 points

Socioeconomically disadvantaged applicants: 20 points

Graduates of predominantly minority high schools: 20 points

Varsity athletes: 20 points

Applicants (largely white) from Michigan's Upper Peninsula: 16 points

Men who apply to nursing school: Unspecified points

Leadership ability: 5 points

Personal achievement: 5 points

University Provost's discretion: 20 points

Michigan argues that such a system doesn't amount to setting quotas for various types of applicants, while critics argue that awarding points is in essence a quota system for minorities. Do you think Michigan's approach is:

Definitely a quota system that unreasonably favors minorities

Possible to construe as such a system

No more likely than not such a system

Probably not a quota system that favors minorities

Definitely not a quota system

Not sure

University admissions officers say the purpose of considering factors other than academic achievement is ensure that the school has a diverse student body, one that reflects the "real world" students will live in after they graduate. Given this goal, do you think the Michigan point system:

Definitely is the right way to go

Probably is the right way to go

Is no more the right thing to do than not

Probably isn't the right way to go

Definitely isn't the right way to go

Not sure

How likely do you think it is that major universities, which have four or five times as many applicants as they can admit, would have more than a token number of underrepresented minorities if they didn't make special efforts to recruit them?

Very likely

Somewhat likely

No more likely than not

Somewhat unlikely

Very unlikely

Not sure

How appropriate do you think it is for employers to practice affirmative action or exert a special effort to attract groups who may have been discriminated against in the past, such as minorities and women, when making hiring decisions?

Very appropriate

Somewhat appropriate

Neither more nor less appropriate

Somewhat inappropriate

Totally inappropriate

Not sure

How likely do you think it is that corporations would have more than a token number of underrepresented minorities if they didn't practice affirmative action or exert special efforts?

Very likely

Somewhat likely

No more likely than not

Somewhat unlikely

Very unlikely

Not sure

How committed do you think the Bush Administration is to fostering the participation of underrepresented minorities in universities and companies?

Very committed

Somewhat committed

No more committed than not

Somewhat uncommitted

Not committed at all

Not sure

Are you now in school?

Yes

No

Where do you live?

Northeast

Midwest

South

Southwest

West

Outside the U.S.

Who did you vote for in the 2000 Presidential election?

Bush

Gore

Nader

Didn't/couldn't vote

If you would like to be notified by e-mail of the results of this poll, please enter your e-mail address below.

Your e-mail address is:


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