We have a problem in the United States. There are many
jobs and many opportunities to be filled, yet there are even more people
that want those opportunities. We need to get the best candidates in, but
we also need to give a fair chance to all other qualified candidates.
How do we ensure that we accept the best applicants while not using artificial efforts to ensure a percentage of minorities get accepted? And yet we still want a diverse selection!
There is no ideal solution, but here's an interesting approach that can satisfy both needs.
Let's take a specific case - admission into medical school. How do we ensure we get the best doctors while offering equal opportunity to all qualified applicants?
Currently schools have wide latitude on who they can admit (through adjusting their admission requirements). We don't want to take that away from them. We want to strengthen that, but for only a part of their incoming class.
Schools should have unrestricted latitude for the top quarter of their entering class. The remaining three-quarters would
be filled by a lottery drawing from all candidates who meet the minimum set of requirements for success in medical school.
It's crucial to determine those minimum requirements. The skill sets of previously successful medical students who had gained admission through special considerations is an interesting starting point for the discussion.
Mensa Bulletin Jan. 2004