A college is offering “all-inclusive, all-expenses paid” visits to campus, but only for prospective students who are racial minorities, Campus Reform reported Tuesday.
Reed College in Oregon hosts “Discover Reed Fly-In,” which aims to attract racial minority students. Scholars expressed disappointment with Reed College’s program and similar, racially discriminatory recruitment efforts at other colleges in conversations with Campus Reform.
“You are eligible for this program if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is a high school senior from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds (African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander) who is living with the U.S. or U.S. territories,” the program description reads.
Minority students who wish to obtain the free trip must also submit a high school transcript and complete two short essays. In exchange, they get free food, transportation, housing and a multiple-day tour.
Reed’s program differs from some in that it is not available to first-generation university students or poorer ones. Middlebury College and Carleton College offer programs that account for these distinctions instead of racial differences.
“What do you say to the students who have solid credentials, but don’t get considered because they’re not the right skin color?” asked Glenn Ricketts, the National Association for Scholars’ public affairs director, while speaking with Campus Reform. “We should become serious about diversity…now, it’s just become a code-word for race-consciousness.”
“These programs are focusing on the wrong kind of diversity,” Jenna Robinson, the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal’s president, told Campus Reform. “Colleges really need intellectual diversity.”
Barnard College in New York and Smith College in Massachusetts offer similar, identity-exclusive programs. “Barnard Bound” is open solely to prospective students who “self-identify as students of color,” though the school also mentions that travel grants will be given based on financial need. Smith College, meanwhile, offers to pay for the “Women of Distinction” visit to the campus for prospective students who are female and come from a racial minority group.
“Reed College makes travel scholarships available to students from all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Kevin Myers, director of communications at Reed College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We have different programs that attempt to meet the needs and answering the questions of every prospective student.”
Myers directed TheDCNF to financial aid for which students of all races can apply, but the link provided listed no comparable program involving an all-expenses-paid tour.
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