“Merit or Quota”


Brittany Diaz

Drake Johnson, a senior from Marina, CA just committed to the prestigious Harvard University. A month ago he received his acceptance to Harvard, UCLA, Dartmouth, and Cornell, just to name a few.

On April 18th he took to twitter to announce his commitment to the famous school. However, after announcing his future plans, a former Texas education official by the name of George Clayton congratulated the young man. Then questioned his acceptance because of his race, “Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota,”  receiving over 80 retweets, 83 likes, and over 2.8k responses.

Johnson took the opportunity to clap back and inform Clayton about his accomplishments, “Thank you! Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?,” which received over 1.3k retweets and 15k likes.

Johnson told reporters he didn’t want to assume the man was racist and didn’t want to jump to any conclusions.

So what is this valedictorian going to do? Later this year he will be attending Harvard to study political science and government. When asked if he was planning on becoming lawyer he said no, but he has future plans on becoming the “POTUS” (President of the United States).

I’m sure Clayton will be thrilled. On that note, after triggering many on social media, Clayton has questioned not only Johnson’s acceptance but many other minorities as well.

There seems to be a trending topic going on around this time of year relative to minority students who are accepted into prestigious universities. 

Affirmative action is very real, but there seems to be some degree of misconception involving minorities getting into many schools solely on affirmative action.

The problem arises when minorities are told the ONLY reason they got accepted into Harvard, Princeton, or even schools like UCONN and Penn State is because of their race.

Like many other things, affirmative action is just a factor. One should not discount GPA, the challenging courses taken, and extra curriculars. All of these play a role in your final admission decisions, and yes, while some factors maybe bigger than others, I don’t think affirmative action is the answer to all minority admissions. Some people are just genuinely smart – deal with it!

I did not get into my safety schools and match schools because I’m Latina. I was accepted because I met qualifications.  While that example might seem extreme, it’s true – some people really do question your acceptance to easy schools because of your last name or race.

Conversely, if I applied to Yale, I know for a fact I wouldn’t get in.  We could politicize this all we want, but I’m simply not a qualified applicant. Just because someone is a strong hispanic or black student doesn’t mean they’re automatically accepted to all eight Ivies.  I can’t say for certain the actual impact of one’s race on acceptance rates. It might be a factor, but honestly it’s probably not as big as you think it is.

In light of the high amount or academic requirements today, I have to believe it is extremely rare that someone SOLELY gets into a match school or a slight reach school just because of their race.

Merit or Quota? How about the top 1% contributions or merit? Or even better, what about NCAA recruits or merit? Now that’s something to talk about it!