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affirmative action - Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
October 23rd, 2011
11:22 pm

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affirmative action
Sunday Dialogue: Diversity on Campus

Re: “College Diversity Nears Its Last Stand” (Sunday Review, Oct. 16)

Giving lower-income students a boost in college admissions would have great benefits. More people from humble backgrounds would join the political elite and craft policies that help the disadvantaged. Over time, this would reduce the need for affirmative action.

Unlike one’s race, one’s economic background is not immediately apparent. Thus, means-based affirmative action would avoid casting a cloud of suspicion over anyone’s achievements.

The one impediment to means-based affirmative action is cost: Admitting more low-income students would require an increase in financial aid. But it is a price worth paying for a more representative democracy and a more egalitarian society.

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