Imagine that you are an admissions officer at a well-known university. You sort through applications, moving the most promising ones toward the top and the weaker applications toward the bottom.
Applicant A worked at a local pet shelter and organized a pre-veterinary club at school. Additionally, applicant A accumulated 20 hours of volunteer service over the summer. This applicant graduated with a 3.8 GPA and finished in the top 5% of his class. His personal statement demonstrated the benefits of equality, fairness, and diversity in the medical field.
Applicant B worked at a fast-food restaurant for a month before quitting. Applicant B did not volunteer in the community but participated in a large political rally over the summer. This applicant graduated with a 2.6 GPA. His personal statement discussed his desire to implement a universal quota system to make sure minority populations were represented in all fields.
This seems like a straightforward choice, right? Wrong.
Many universities heavily rely on a DEI-based grading system that disregards merit in favor of knowledge and experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Institutions such as the University of South Carolina, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School openly advertise their DEI standards. Students who do not meet these criteria more often than not are rejected.
Many of these schools follow the University of California, Berkeley’s rubric when implementing DEI criteria. It contains three main sections: knowledge about DEI, a track record in advancing DEI, and plans to advance DEI in the future. The applicant receives a score from 1-5 in each section. According to the rubric, an applicant will receive a low score if they “define diversity only in terms of different areas of study or different nationalities, but doesn’t discuss gender or ethnicity/race.” Another way to receive a low score is to “explicitly state the intention to ignore the varying backgrounds of their students and ‘treat everyone the same.’”
High-scoring applicants strongly advocate DEI principles and possess “clear knowledge of, experience with, and interest in dimensions of diversity that result from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural differences.” If a student wants to make his application more competitive, he need not worry about grades, extracurriculars, or experience; proof of unwavering loyalty and allegiance to this ideology is sufficient.
Based on these standards, “Applicant B” would be chosen over “Applicant A.”
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common experience for bright and qualified students who are rejected based on DEI standards.
Recently, Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit against West Point Military Academy for practicing race-based admissions. The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School similarly lists “attributes that contribute to the diversity of the class” under its selection criteria . Would you be worried if your doctor attended medical school because of his diverse attributes instead of his MCAT test scores and academic performance?
Universities hold professors and staff members to similar standards. Many deny tenure to professors who do not agree ideologically. Other professors are denied from teaching at the university in the first place. These universities turn away highly qualified professors if they do not profess the right views.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education has devolved into a political litmus test by which activist administrators determine which applicants are least resistant to the narrative imposed on them.
It is illegal for any public institution to discriminate based on race, sex, religion, age, or disability. But what about the diversity of thought?
The blatant discrimination by higher education institutions toward those who do not agree with the narrative reveals a deep hypocrisy and contempt for dissenting views. Real diversity promotes competition, high achievement, and overall excellence. Unfortunately, these values are a rarity on today’s campuses.