Affirmative Action for Whites

Senate majority leader Bill Frist, who is contemplating a run for the presidency in 2008, opposes the use of race as a factor in admissions decisions to colleges and universities. But according to a new book by Daniel Golden of The Wall Street Journal, there is no objection when one of his sons is admitted to Princeton University with qualifications significantly below those of his classmates. Frist, a graduate of Princeton, has donated $25 million to his alma mater. The new student center on campus is named after him.

According to Golden, Frist’s oldest son was admitted to Princeton despite the fact that he was not in the top 20 percent of his graduating class at St. Albans, a preparatory school in Washington, D.C. While at Princeton, he was arrested for drunk driving and graduated without academic honors. Now his younger brother is enrolling at Princeton. He too is a St. Albans graduate and did not finish in the top 20 percent of his graduating class.

In his book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges, Golden estimates that up to one third of the students at some of the nation’s most elite colleges would not be admitted under a strict merit-based admissions system.