In a time when baccalaureate aspirations are ubiquitous and students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are enrolling in college at higher rates, the shifting definition of merit towards test scores challenges institutions that utilize selective admissions. In this paper, I argued that selective admissions serve as a mechanism for effectively maintaining racialized inequality by excluding students from Black, Latinx, and Multiracial, Indigenous, and Other racialized backgrounds from more elite education. By studying the trends in academic preparation between 2004 and 2013 and how they translate into changes in enrollment trends, I found that racialized exclusion continued to keep elite education out of reach for qualified students from these minoritized backgrounds. The findings suggest that, contrary to claims of a meritocratic system of admissions wherein individual talent and skills take precedence, a student’s structural context, specifically their racialized and socioeconomic background, exerted immense influence.
Kehal, Prabhdeep Singh,
"Race and Merit: Racialized Exclusion from Prestige in Higher Education Enrollment, 2004-2013"
Sociology Theses and Dissertations.
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