Many colleges and universities require applicants for undergraduate admissions to write an essay describing the ways in which they’ll bring “diversity” to their hoped-for alma mater. This procedure isn’t especially new. The diversiphiles first launched the tactic in the early 1990s. But required diversity essays have been getting renewed attention recently as they spread to graduate programs. In that light, we recently decided to examine the practice a bit more systematically.
In addition to a personal statement, most law schools invite applicants to highlight a unique aspect of their profile via an optional diversity essay. As one example, Stanford Law School includes the following instructions in its application materials:
Cultural Diversity College Essay - Essay - 540 Words
The Berkeley graduate application amounts to a requirement that the applicant prove his record as a pro-diversity activist if he want to get in. It’s a silly idea, and it is profoundly at odds with intellectual freedom, freedom of conscience, and the real purposes of education. Because of that, it is a requirement that probably won’t stand forever. “Diversity essays” are a First Amendment case waiting to happen.
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