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Title: Diversity, Opportunity and Shifting Meritocracy in Higher Education
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Tienda, Marta
Alon, Sigal
Diversity, Opportunity and Shifting Meritocracy in Higher Education
American Sociological Review 72,4 (August 2007): 487-511.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): Affirmative Action; College Enrollment; Test Scores/Test theory/IRT; Tests and Testing

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Article and on-line Supplement to the article reveal the results of the study by Sigal Alon of Tel Aviv University and Marta Tienda of Princeton University on SAT. The researchers say that eliminating the weight of college entrance exams and using a full-file review to select students using measures of merit will improve campus diversity. According to Alon, the tension between test scores and diversity motivated them to show how affirmative action was required because the weight placed on test scores in admission decisions, especially at selective institutions, rose over time. The writers found that colleges have increasingly based admissions on test scores, creating the need for affirmative action for minorities who tend not to do as well on those tests. Alon and Tienda analyzed data from two national surveys, "High School and Beyond" and "The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," to track students in their college admissions process and examine the likelihood of their admission using both standardized tests and class rank.

They also looked at data from Texas Higher Education Opportunity Projects and used the University of Texas at Austin to examine the impact on minorities' admissions. "If we want to reach a state where we don't need affirmative action, we need to confront and understand the mechanism restricting minorities the opportunity, and the SAT is one of them," says Alon. If universities implement the suggested policy, he says, they will still enroll a diverse student population without compromising academic quality.

Bibliography Citation
Tienda, Marta and Sigal Alon. "Diversity, Opportunity and Shifting Meritocracy in Higher Education." American Sociological Review 72,4 (August 2007): 487-511.