Readers React

College admissions shouldn't be 'us vs. them'

To the editor: As someone who previously worked in admissions at UC Berkeley, I can wholeheartedly affirm that the University of California system does not advantage or disadvantage certain applicants based on their race. Such practices across all college systems are unconstitutional. ("For Asian Americans, a changing landscape on college admissions," Feb. 21)

Suggesting that the opposite is true, as several people quoted in your article do, plays on both fear and the high amount of pressure that Asian American parents and most importantly Asian American students place on themselves for getting into elite institutions.

College admission is a complex process that cannot be quantified just by grade point average, SAT scores or even the "number" of activities students "participate" in. Leadership in both academics and activities outside the classroom add to a student's potential contribution to universities.

This idea applies to students across all backgrounds and should be disseminated to prospective students and their families. We shouldn't use fear to make applying for college an us-versus-them competition.

Geralyn Yparraguirre, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The article about the "new diversity" troubled me, as I was not aware of allegations that some universities adjust SAT scores based on ethnicity. Bonus points based on the color of your skin? What has education come to?

I am Mexican American, but my mother was of Spanish descent, so I was considered the "gringo" in the mainly Hispanic classrooms I grew up in. My best friend in grade school was black, and he was one of the brightest in our class.

That any race is allegedly given an automatic boost is absurd in this day and age. It is offensive to the hard-working and ambitious people considered minorities by our society.

Randy Jackson, Mission Hills

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