Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

In The Shape of the River, presidents Bowen and Bok pronounce the race-sensitive admission policies adopted by selective undergraduate schools a resounding success. The evidence they adduce in support of that conclusion primarily concerns the performance of African-American students in and after college. But not all African-American students in those institutions were admitted in consequence of minority preference policies. Some, perhaps many, would have been admitted under race-neutral policies. I argued at several points in my review that since these students might be expected to be academically more successful than those admitted because of their race, the evidence on which Bowen and Bok rely provides a potentially distorted view of the latter's performance, almost certainly suggesting a greater level of success than those students actually achieved.


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