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He can end up demoralized and learn less than he would have been capable of otherwise.

Such a student, through no fault of his own, has been “mismatched.” He may give up on tough but rewarding majors in science and engineering and opt for soft majors that are less likely to lead to high-status careers.

After serving in Vietnam as a medic, he had twice applied to the University of California at Davis Medical School for admission.

“More than anything else in the world, ,” he wrote in his personal statement, and his actions proved it was true.

One of the consequences of widespread race-preferential admissions policies is that talented minority students end up distributed among colleges and universities in patterns that are very different from those of their white and Asian counterparts.

When the schools that are highest on the academic ladder relax their admissions policies in order to admit more underrepresented minority students, schools one rung down must do likewise or they will have far fewer underrepresented minority students than they would have had under a general color-blind admissions policy.

We have fewer African-American scientists, physicians, and engineers and likely fewer lawyers and college professors.

As California’s Attorney General, he established the office’s civil rights division and banned the Professional Golfers Association from using state golf courses until such time as it agreed to admit African-American members.The problem is not that no academically gifted African-American students are seeking admission to college and universities. But there are not enough at the very top tiers to satisfy the demand, and efforts to change that have had a pernicious effect on admissions up and down the academic pecking order, creating a serious credentials gap at every competitive level.Unfortunately, a student whose entering academic credentials are well below those of the average student in a particular school will likely earn grades to match. Bowen and former Harvard President Derek Bok, who were pioneers in formulating affirmative action policies, admit that the credentials gap has serious consequences.I have no doubt that those who originally conceived of race-preferential admissions policies nearly 50 years ago were acting in good faith.By lowering admissions standards for African-American and Hispanic students at elite colleges and universities, they hoped to increase the number of minority students on campus and ultimately to promote their integration into high-status careers. Should we allow the principle of color blindness under the law to be sacrificed in the hope that in the long run, it will help us become a society of equal opportunity?

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Mounting empirical research shows that race-preferential admissions policies are doing more harm than good.

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