There are viable alternatives to race-conscious admissions processes for colleges
“Economic affirmative action” leaves students of color out of top colleges
Eliminating affirmative action in higher education would resegregate the training grounds for future leaders. Upper-tier schools that rely solely on “economic affirmative action” see a decline in students of color. The Associated Press reported of the Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas:
The nearly 100 briefs filed in the Fisher case also include several from social science researchers arguing race-neutral alternatives don't work. In its brief supporting Texas, the University of California argues that when state voters ended affirmative action in 1996, it was unable to enroll a critical mass of black students, particularly the two most prominent campuses -- Berkeley and UCLA.
"The University of California has tried almost everything (to recruit more minority students)," said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. "It's true the least selective colleges of the University of California are highly diversified, but we've had almost a disappearance of black students here at UCLA."
Highly selective institutions like Berkeley and UCLA generate a disproportionate share of future leaders, Orfield says, and are key pathways to professional and graduate schools. Without using race in admissions, such universities will look hardly anything like the states they're supposed to serve, and minority students won't have access to critical opportunities.