With Affirmative Action being made illegal, what will happen next? Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has outlawed consideration of race as a factor in college admissions, banning the use of affirmative action in higher education. Thus, with race not a factor, many commentators are saying that location will be the new factor.
Here Come the Zip Codes?
Universities will probably devise a plan like this. The objective of this diversity-affirmative action plan will be to address the educational disparities faced by students from underserved regions of the USA and create a pipeline to increase their representation in higher education institutions.
By utilizing zip codes as a criterion, colleges will aim to identify and provide opportunities for talented individuals from these regions, empowering them to pursue higher education and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive society. Sadly, Ivy related schools and top colleges may continue to ignore underserved regions of the USA. Many of the underserved in the USA are areas in the Southern and Western States that have large minority populations of Hispanics, Asians, multi-racial Caucasians, and those that identify as Non-White.
Components of the Hypothetical Zip Code Plan
Identifying Target Zip Codes:
A. Research: Conduct comprehensive research to identify zip codes with high levels of poverty, limited educational resources, and limited access to higher education opportunities. This data can be obtained from the Census Bureau, Department of Education, and other relevant sources.
B. Selection Criteria: Establish a criterion for identifying target zip codes based on poverty rates, educational attainment, and geographic isolation to determine the most underserved regions.
Outreach and Engagement:
A. Information Dissemination: Develop a comprehensive outreach strategy to raise awareness about higher education opportunities and the affirmative action plan among students, parents, and educators in the identified target zip codes. This can include online campaigns, community events, and partnerships with local organizations.
B. Mentorship Programs: Establish mentorship programs connecting students from underserved rural regions with mentors from higher education institutions. Mentors can provide guidance, support, and information about the application process, scholarships, and resources available to assist students in their educational journey.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
A. Financial Support: Establish scholarships and financial aid programs specifically tailored for students from the identified target zip codes. This can include full or partial tuition waivers, grants, and stipends to cover living expenses.
B. Need-Based Criteria: Evaluate applicants based on financial need, academic potential, and their commitment to serving their communities after completing their education. This approach ensures that talented students facing financial constraints are given the opportunity to pursue higher education. However, students on their own should not be punished because their parents are solvent or have saved for retirement.
Partnerships With Educational Institutions
A. Collaboration with K-12 Schools: Collaborate with K-12 schools in the target regions to provide additional resources, support services, and college readiness programs. This can include college counseling, tutoring, and workshops on college applications and financial aid.
B. Articulation Agreements: Establish articulation agreements between higher education institutions and community colleges in the underserved regions. These agreements facilitate the transfer of credits and provide a pathway for students to transition seamlessly from community colleges to four-year institutions.
Comprehensive Support Services
A. Academic Support: Provide academic support services, such as tutoring, study groups, and mentoring, to ensure students from underserved rural regions have the resources necessary to succeed in higher education.
B. Personal Support: Establish counseling services and support networks to address the unique challenges and social adjustments faced by students transitioning from underserved and rural regions to higher education institutions.
Data Collection and Evaluation
Tracking Progress: Develop a system to track the progress and success of students who benefit from the diversity action plan. Monitor their retention rates, graduation rates, and post-graduation achievements to assess the effectiveness of the program and make necessary adjustments.
Implementation and Review
This GDAP or geographical-diversity-action plan should be implemented through collaboration between government agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations. Regular reviews and evaluations should be conducted to identify any areas of improvement and ensure the plan's continued effectiveness in addressing educational disparities and providing opportunities for students from underserved rural regions.
In closing, I was never able to personally use Affirmative Action over the last 50 years. However, I am partly a mix of many minorities such as: Hispanic, Egyptian, Arab, Asian, Native American, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Irish and even Dravidian, which comes mostly from my Sicilian side.
In retrospect, my mother may have been the first Sicilian woman with North African and Arab DNA to be admitted into graduate school at Tulane University in 1955. Personally, I give credit to Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra for opening those doors for people like my mother. Sadly, my mother did not have the money to pay for room and board, but this nation has come a long way since then with various types of assistance, e-learning, loans, and work programs.
With 50+ years of Affirmative Action, hopefully some good was done to repair the 200+ years of damages against black people created by the Democrat’s slavery, racism, and Jim Crow which was promoted by and controlled by the Democrats and their defeated Confederacy.
To make up for the collateral damage from any abuses of Affirmative Action, many commentators now believe that colleges may be subject to Class Action Lawsuits due to disparate impact lawsuits based on racism against denied students with high scores.
The above idea is a general framework and should be customized based on the specific needs and characteristics of the underserved regions targeted and dealing with large cities with suburbs may require a different strategy. It's important to consider local context and engage with relevant stakeholders in the planning and implementation process. Overall, the new laws are a win for something that I have believed in for many years which is geographical diversity which will help American students from varying states get to know each other, collaborate, and even remain life-long friends.
Commissioner George Mentz JD MBA CILS CWM® is an international lawyer, speaker, educator, tax-economist, and CEO of the GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management ®. The GAFM is a ESQ accredited graduate body that trains and certifies professionals in 150+ nations under CHEA ACBSP and ISO 21001 standards. Mentz is also an award winning author and graduate law professor of wealth management for a top U.S. law school.
Foner, E. (2015). A Short History of Reconstruction. W. W. Norton & Company.
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