Ivy League Fooled: How America's Top Colleges Avoid Real Diversity

It turns out the Ivy League’s racial diversity stats are only half the story. People in search of egalitarianism at places like Harvard and Columbia shouldn’t just be asking what color students are, but where they’re from, too.

Call it the Ivy League’s dirty little secret: While America’s most elite colleges do in fact make it a point to promote ethnic diversity on their campuses, a lot of them do so by admitting hugely disproportionate numbers of wealthy immigrants and their children rather than black students with deep roots—and troubled histories—in the United States.

The problem, of course, isn’t that black immigrants are going to Ivy League schools in large numbers; educational success should be applauded no matter where the student is from. But the large numbers of African immigrants on American college campuses, coupled with the remarkably small numbers of native blacks on those same campuses, calls into question the effectiveness of America’s affirmative action programs. While affirmative action started as a system to right the wrongs of slavery and institutional anti-black racism, helping wealthy immigrants who weren’t here for those struggles doesn’t serve any of the program’s original intentions.

» via GOOD