The Role Of Affirmative Action In College Admissions | Argumentative Topics

Argumentative Essay
Below is a argumentative discussion/essay on the topic - The Role of Affirmative Action in College Admissions.


Affirmative action in college admissions has been a subject of contentious debate for decades. While some argue that it promotes fairness and diversity, others contend that it constitutes reverse discrimination and undermines meritocracy. In this essay, I will argue that affirmative action is a vital tool for promoting diversity, equity, and social justice in higher education.

Supporting Argument 1: Addressing Historical Inequities

One of the primary justifications for affirmative action in college admissions is its role in addressing historical inequities. Throughout much of history, certain groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, have faced systemic discrimination and exclusion from educational opportunities. 

Affirmative action seeks to level the playing field by providing these historically marginalized groups with access to higher education that they may have been denied in the past. By considering factors such as race and ethnicity in the admissions process, colleges and universities can actively work to counteract the effects of past discrimination and promote greater social equity.

Supporting Argument 2: Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity

Diversity is a crucial component of a vibrant and enriching educational experience. Affirmative action helps colleges and universities create diverse student bodies by ensuring representation from a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Exposure to diverse viewpoints fosters critical thinking skills, cultural competence, and prepares students for success in an increasingly globalized world.

 Moreover, a diverse student body enhances classroom discussions, promotes cross-cultural understanding, and prepares students to navigate diverse workplaces and communities upon graduation. Without affirmative action, many institutions would struggle to achieve meaningful diversity, thereby limiting the educational opportunities available to all students.

Supporting Argument 3: Countering Structural Inequities

In addition to addressing historical injustices, affirmative action also serves to counteract ongoing structural inequities in society. Despite progress in civil rights, disparities persist in access to quality education, economic opportunities, and social mobility. By actively recruiting and admitting students from underrepresented groups, colleges and universities can help disrupt the cycle of poverty and inequality.

 Affirmative action not only benefits individual students by providing them with opportunities for upward mobility but also contributes to broader societal goals of promoting social cohesion and reducing inequality. Without affirmative action, these structural inequities would likely persist and exacerbate existing disparities in educational attainment and socioeconomic status.

Counterargument: Meritocracy and Equal Opportunity

Critics of affirmative action often argue that it undermines the principles of meritocracy and equal opportunity by prioritizing factors such as race and ethnicity over academic achievement and qualifications. They contend that all students should be judged based solely on their individual merits, rather than their membership in a particular demographic group.

However, this argument overlooks the fact that meritocracy is not achievable in a society plagued by systemic inequalities and disparities in access to resources. Affirmative action seeks to level the playing field by acknowledging and addressing these structural barriers to opportunity. 

Moreover, the concept of equal opportunity necessitates proactive measures to ensure that historically disadvantaged groups have access to the same opportunities as their more privileged counterparts. Affirmative action is thus a necessary corrective to systemic injustices and a means of promoting genuine equal opportunity for all.


In conclusion, affirmative action plays a crucial role in college admissions by promoting diversity, equity, and social justice. By addressing historical inequities, promoting diversity and inclusivity, and countering structural inequalities, affirmative action helps create more equitable and inclusive educational environments. 

While critics may argue that affirmative action undermines meritocracy and equal opportunity, the reality is that it is a necessary tool for addressing systemic injustices and promoting a more just and equitable society. As such, affirmative action should be preserved and strengthened as a means of expanding access to higher education and advancing the principles of fairness and social equity.

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