Race, Ethnicity, and Specialized Business Accreditation
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 7 No. 1 (2006): Vol-7-Issue-1-January-2006
Recent controversy regarding race- and ethnicity-conscious admissions programs demonstrates the
continued debate on the equality of opportunity within post secondary education (Kane 2003;
Thernstrom and Thernstrom 2004).
College-bound students in the United States make several choices including which college to attend,
whether to persist in college, and which major to select. Research demonstrates that these decisions
are influenced by a student’s race and ethnicity (Daly 2005; Delvecchio, McEwen, and McEwen 2001;
Niu, Tienda, and Cortes 2006).
Black and Hispanic students are underrepresented at selective colleges and universities in the United
States (Dickerson and Jacobs 2006; Niu et al. 2006). The colleges themselves also play a role by
deciding which students are admitted. Since Black and Hispanic students have lower average SAT
scores than White and Asian students (Davies and Guppy 1997) and Black students have lower
average GMAT scores than White and Asian students (Cross and Slater 1998), heavy emphasis on
these test scores in admissions decisions may limit the opportunities for Black and Hispanic students.
However, the long-term implications of enrollment patterns and economic returns of selective college
admissions create a need for a more thorough analysis of the issue.