College admissions leaders say — over and over again — that they want to recruit minority students. But a new study suggests that when it comes to black students, admissions officers may be more likely to encourage those who aren’t involved in black activism.
The study was just published in the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and its author says it raises questions about the commitment of some in higher education to attracting all kinds of black students, and in particular those who are engaged in the fight against racism in society.
Ted Thornhill, assistant professor of sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University, did the study by sending emails on behalf of fictitious black students to 517 white admissions counselors at predominantly white colleges and universities. The email messages asked if the student would be “a good fit” at the college….