Transparency within admissions benefits campus diversity

Joshua Kimbrell, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane has the test scores and the applicants, but one thing it lacks is diversity. In a city with a white population of 33 percent, according to 2010 Census Bureau data, the admissions board selected an incoming freshman class that is 82.5 percent white. That a college so accommodating to its students would lack diversity is regrettable. 

At a college that enjoys worldwide recognition, diversity should not be a problem. Year after year, we are presented with classes consisting of a white majority where every other student is lumped together and classified as a student of color.

As a private university, Tulane can afford to be selective about the information it releases. No one except those involved in the admissions process fully know Tulane’s criteria for acceptance. The student body, faculty and alumni need to demand more transparency in the admissions process. Tulane is already a selective university. Now more effort must go into increasing diversity.

Since Tulane refuses to be more open about selection criteria within the admissions process, there are more questions than answers.

Based on the blog of Senior Associate Director of Admissions Jeff Schiffman, the class of 2018 has the highest two-section SAT average in Tulane history. The university spends considerable effort to select students with high SAT scores. While including people that will improve the Tulane community is very important, it is also relevant to include students from all steps of life. As many teachers themselves say, learning experiences take place more often outside of the classroom than inside.

The problem is not isolated to one demographic. The secrecy in the admissions process restricts the ability of the Tulane community to understand the problem, much less face it. We do not know the specifics of the term “students of color.” The term is ambiguous. When asked to break down the demographic of “students of color,” Director of Undergraduate Admissions Faye Tydlaska said to refer to Schiffman’s blog or call the admissions office. Schiffman’s blog did not contain the information, and the admissions office said to speak to Tydlaska.  

Addressing the lack of diversity can be difficult to accomplish, but Tulane must first address the root of the problem by increasing transparency within admissions. 

Joshua Kimbrell is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached for comment at [email protected]

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