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Affirmative action or “racial preferences” are a hotly contested issue in the United States. For over four decades many states’ public universities have used race in the awarding of admissions preferences for minority applicants. Ten states have banned the use of racial preferences in university admissions including Michigan where on April 22, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a voter approved ban on affirmative action. This policy paper attempts to influence state legislatures and officials to adopt similar bans in their home states not because the United States no longer suffers from racism and bias, although this bias has been significantly reduced since 1960’s, but on the grounds that research proves racial preferences in universities, especially selective ones, actually hurt minority students in a phenomenon known as “mismatch.” Mismatch is where minority students are admitted to select universities based on broad racial preferences even though they are not academically prepared. These large racial preferences backfire against most recipients and cause many to …
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