Affirmative Action is a program of opportunity; it is not a program of discrimination. This is the major argument people use in defending Affirmative Action. Whites claim they are now discriminated against because of this program and that minorities get the upper hand for the sake of filling a quota. However, Affirmative Action's mission is about opening up equal opportunity and ensuring equal opportunity with equal results.
The most prominent form of affirmative action centers on access to education, particularly admission to universities and other forms of tertiary instruction. Race, ethnicity, native language, social class, geographical origin, parental attendance of the university in question, and/or gender are often taken into account when assessing the meaning of an applicant's grades and test scores. Affirmative action programs at universities benefit mostly African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans. Asian Americans, although a racial minority, do not benefit at most colleges because the rate of college education among Asian Americans is higher than the other racial groups (including whites).
An affirmative action study by Princeton researchers in 2005 attempted to break down and compare the effects of the practice among racial and special groups. The data from the study represent admissions disadvantage and advantage in terms of SAT points (on 1600-point scale): Blacks: +230, Hispanics: +185, Asians: −50, Recruited athletes: +200 Legacies (children of alumni): +160. For example, the college admission chances of a female university student will tend to be equal to that of a male student with SAT scores fifty points higher than hers.
As a matter of fact, quite a few additional factors are taken into consideration in whether or not a person gains admission, including athletic achievement, musical or other artistic abilities, extracurricular activities, volunteer efforts, outside work, admissions essays, etc. Unless one is arguing that all of these...