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When Affirmative Action Isn’t Enough

Despite the continued debate and legal wrangling over whether college affirmative action efforts are too aggressive, black and Hispanic freshmen were more underrepresented at the nation’s top schools in 2015 than they were in 1980, the Times analysis found.

That may come as a surprise to some skeptics of affirmative action, including those in the Trump administration, who see such efforts as having remade the admissions landscape to the detriment of Asian-Americans and whites. But on campuses across the country, many admissions officials say that affirmative action as it is traditionally understood — taking race into consideration when assessing applications — falls short as a diversity strategy, and that farther-reaching efforts are needed to recruit a student body that even comes close to reflecting the country’s demographics.