Conservative Group Charges OSU and Miami University with Discrimination

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A conservative think tank accuses Ohio State and Miami University of giving preference to applicants of color over their white counterparts.

The Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank that focuses on issues surrounding race and discrimination, charges Ohio State University and Miami University with discrimination. The group’s study said the schools admit African Americans and Hispanics over white applicants with higher grades.

The group, based in Virginia, has conducted similar studies at various universities around the country. Roger Clegg, the group’s president, said race and ethnicity should not be a factor in admission.

“We found that your skin color and what country your ancestors came from make a big difference in whether you get into those schools or not. And we think that that’s a bad thing,” Clegg said.

The study said black students at Miami were favored 10-1 over white students with similar ACT scores. The study found African Americans had an 8-1 advantage at Ohio State.

The study also reports, overall, black students admitted to Miami and Ohio State had significantly lower SAT and ACT scores compared to their Hispanic, Asian and white classmates.

And Clegg said graduation rates, at both schools, were lower for black students compared to whites.

“Groups that are given preferences are less likely to graduate than students who are discriminated against. So you’re not really helping the student if you admit them to the school and you don’t graduate,” he said.

Officials at Ohio State and Miami refute the study.

Miami University spokeswoman Claire Wagner said the study only considered three aspects: race, standardized test scores and high school grades. Wagner said Miami considers 25 factors before admitting a student.

“Two students come in with very similar scores, but one of them might have come from a high school that has a great success rate. Where somebody coming from a high school that didn’t have that much of a success rate, earning the same score, they had to work harder to achieve that,” Wagner said.

Ohio State uses similar factors. Dolan Evanovich is the school’s vice president for strategic enrollment planning. He said OSU does not pit students against each other when deciding who gets in.

“Ohio State has place diversity and access and inclusiveness among our highest values. You know, it’s a strategic priority to ensure access and to create an environment that’s welcoming,” he said.

And both Ohio State and Miami University say their retention and graduation rates for minorities continue to increase.