July 22, 2005

"Comprehensive Review"

Before 1996's Proposition 209 outlawed the use of racial quotas in U. of California admissions decisions, picking applicants was simple: they just ranked the member's of each official ethnic group on test scores and GPA adjusted for class difficulty and selected from the top down until they filled each group's quota.

Now that it's unconstitutional to use racial preferences, the bureaucrats have instituted "comprehensive review" of applicants in order to reinstitute quotas surreptitiously by making the application process so complicated that nobody can figure out how they made their decisions. (The Latino Caucus in the state legislature demanded they get more Latinos into the UC schools than a colorblind system would produce.) One element of obfuscation is that each applicant must now submit an essay about how they have "overcome adversity." The purpose is for minorities to write about how they've been discriminated against so that the admissions committees can figure out if applicant named "John Jones" is black or white. Of course, it just encourages adolescents to dwell on their victimization, which adolescents love to do anyway.

This leaves the white and Asian kids with a problem: what adversity to write about? Well, if you've watched the Olympics on TV, you can probably guess: according to a UCLA professor, one out of three essays overall (and thus probably close to half of the white and Asian kids' essays) are about the death of a grandparent!

"Everybody called my grandfather an angry old coot, and his neighbors got a restraining order against him after he kept throwing poisoned steaks to their barking dogs that woke him from his afternoon nap, and I hadn't actually seen him since I was eleven, but when he died at 86 on that golf course in Florida, the shock was so great that that's why I got that mediocre 2.75 GPA my second semester sophomore year, and I think if I hadn't been so traumatized I would have gotten better than that 540 on my European History SAT Subject Test."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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