Free Essay On Ethical Issues In The US College Education (Researched Argumentative Essay)

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Students, College, Information, Policy, Science, Initiative, Higher Education

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/02

In the quest for higher education, ethical issues are bound to arise. These vary from state to state, country to country, and designing important strategies to curbing unethical practices is the best solution. This paper examines two articles closely; one by Priya Natarajan and the other by Richard D. Kahlenberg. In sequence, the following items will be the focus of the essay; ethical issues highlighted in each including the alternative actions suggested by the authors to resolving each, decisions of other outside contributors, and evaluation of the final position of this paper. The assumptions made, and the consequences of the final position will be mentioned. Within this context, ethics is defined as the acts that are within the principles and policies set out by members of a given society; education policies in this case. Ethical issues involved and implications of actions proposed by authors therein

"Five Myths about College Admissions."

Source: Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis.
Richard points out five beliefs that held by researchers concerning US higher education. One is notable and forms the subject of discussion here. According to him, there is uneven access of high school graduates to college. He gives a clear explanation to support his argument. There are two main policies that colleges use to admitting students; legacy preferences and use of SAT points. The former is, however, the main policy regulating the choice of students. This is more prominent in leading American schools, a move that has led to locking out of students with no prior connections.
Richard points out that it is due to foreseen help from alumni that drives college administrators’’ move to using an unethical admission policy. He cites a good example; Texas A&M and the University of Georgia; alumni-university relationship. By default, students whose next of kin have connections with colleges have a 20% chance of acceptance than those who do not.

"Want More Scientists? Turn Grade Schools into Laboratories”

Source:, February 13, 2012
Priya finds out that there is a limit to the choice of majors for students in colleges. To her, however, she points out that the problem is not within the college itself but previous academic levels. Many students from high school avoid majoring in Mathematics, Technology, Science, and Engineering. Since these are areas that require dedication in terms of time and resource allocation, many students opt to other majors; a situation that is creating a deficit of science and allied subjects' graduates. She finds this an odd, especially in a nation endowed with sufficient resources. It is failure to expose students earlier in life to scientific related information that determines their choice of alternative majors; it limits their freedom of career choices, a clearly unethical practice.
She proposes two solutions to curbing this. Earlier intervention in the profession through the provision of engaging platforms specifically designed to enhance students' scientific research skills. Alternatively, encouraging thorough involvement in laboratory works in high school is Priya’s proposal. She advises student mentors to involve students in high school and preliminary classes in research projects and develop self-guided projects. Zooniverse to her is a perfect example; feeding students with information collected by NASA about the composition of the universe.
One negative implication of her proposals is evident; the student will concentrate on the practical aspects of learning and neglect theoretical concepts. Additionally, enrollment in other fields such as linguistics and religion will drastically reduce yet their importance in shaping the society is vital.

Decisions of others

In addressing even access to education and eliminating unethical practices in colleges, President Barrack Obama came up with an initiative dubbed "Race to the Top"("Higher Education"). This initiative aims to ensure equal access to education for all Americans despite their social class, race, or other demographic factors. Though not all states have implemented the program so far, there are plans to expand its reach; the ultimate goal being a limitless education to all. The image below illustrates the jurisdiction in which the initiative is operative;
As indicated in the diagram, a hefty amount of financial support to each state implementing the initiative has been the president’s decision. There are four core principles driving the program; helping students from middle classes access college education, uplifting the standards of community-based colleges, keeping education costs down through provision of finances to breach college expenses, and streamlining college policies and transparency.
Bill Clinton too was at the forefront in fostering higher education access to all Americans irrespective of demographic factors. Through his initiative "No Child Left Behind,' he made a decision to uplifting education standards in the US. The program is designed to do the following; provide students with loans at affordable interest rates to help them fund their higher education, improvement of teacher quality through sufficient provision of teaching resources and incentives, and provision of grants to colleges. The program is still in operation.

Ethical position, assumptions and consequences

The Assumption made is that the policies highlighted in President Obama's and Clinton's initiatives are being implemented in the way initially intended. If this is so, the ultimate consequences will be; increased education standards, elimination of admission bias, and elimination of policies such as legacy preferences.


The first article by Richard Kahlenberg was published on May 23, 2010 while Priya Natarajan’s "Want More Scientists? Turn Grade Schools into Laboratories” was published on 13th February, 2012. Each article has been revised and peer-reviewed twice since publication. The information is current considering the current issues witnessed in college education in the present society. Additionally, since the period from their publication to the present date is within ten years, the information therein is still applicable. The two authors highlight particular issues facing the education system in the US and the globe at large; this is the focus of my research. The links to each article are functional;
The intended audience is vast; students in colleges, educational administrators and governing bodies. The information fits my level; it’s not too elementary nor too advanced. I examined many sources before settling on this one since it fits in my theme appropriately.


The information presented by authors is from their own thoughts; personal opinions and experiences. They back up their opinions with sufficient evidence. The articles have been peer-reviewed, and the information contained therein relates well to my thoughts. The tone used is free from bias, and grammatical errors are almost zero.


The information is intended to inform rather than teach; though the authors do not declare a clear stand on this. The information is purely opinion; the point of view being subjective. The papers are devoid of institutional, religious, cultural and personal biases.


The ethical issues highlighted in the two articles examined include; uneven access to college and restriction in the choice of majors. The latter is, however, an indirect correlation. As solutions to these, decisions from other corporates should be incorporated into the education system; the ‘Race to the Top' initiative is a clear example.

Works Cited

"Five Myths about College Admissions,” Richard D. Kahlenberg, Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.
"Higher Education." The White House. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.
"Want More Scientists? Turn Grade Schools into Laboratories: Priya Natarajan |" N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

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