11 Jul In-the-News Update [Issue: Education]
After a recent Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the use of race in college admissions, medical schools are exploring alternative methods to promote diversity. One idea being considered is evaluating applicants based on the adversity they have overcome. President Biden suggested that colleges should consider a student’s resilience when selecting from qualified candidates. The Supreme Court ruling criticized Harvard University and the University of North Carolina for unlawfully discriminating against Asian Americans by considering race in admissions. However, the ruling still allows race to be considered within the overall context of an applicant’s experiences. UC Davis medical school gained attention for its diverse class composition, despite affirmative action being banned in the state of California since 1996. The school uses a socioeconomic disadvantage scale (S.E.D.) to assess applicants based on factors like family income and education. Admissions decisions are made through a holistic evaluation that incorporates the race-neutral score. While some schools have shown interest in the process, critics argue that reducing life circumstances to a single score diminishes individuality. Medical schools aim to increase underrepresented minority representation, as currently, only a small percentage of practicing doctors belong to such groups. However, opponents argue that adversity scoring may not necessarily produce the most competent physicians.