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Group Issues Third Report on Admissions Fairness

November 29, 2022

Education Reform Now has released its third report on fairness in the admissions system. The focus of this report is transparency and accountability.

The report says that, especially given that the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to bar affirmative action next year, “the U.S. Department of Education should expand its collection of admissions data and disaggregate that data by race, ethnicity, gender, and, when possible, socioeconomic status.”

The report said, “It is to the benefit of all Americans to expand access to the opportunities afforded by college, which is why it should concern us all that access to opportunity is still not evenly or fairly distributed across society. If those gaps are to shrink, researchers, institutional leadership, equity advocates, and policymakers will need a better understanding of their causes.” And the report added, “Currently, the U.S. Department of Education does not collect or publish disaggregated data for applicants or admits (i.e., admitted applicants), which creates a blind spot in understanding the sources of enrollment and graduation gaps. Nor does ED collect any data on legacy preferences or early decision plans, two admissions practices shown to have detrimental effects on diversity at selective colleges.”

Colleges should be required to release information on their legacy and early-decision plans, the report said. And colleges should release “racial and ethnic demographic data for applicants and admits, not just enrollments, to track disparities in access throughout the admissions pipeline and not just at its endpoint.”

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