"The system is biased." This is a phrase synonymous with college admissions in India. Because of the ever increasing quotas, the number of vacancies for regular admission is steadily reducing. Affirmative action in India is definitely driving the more affluent students to opportunities abroad simply because of a supply and demand mismatch. In the United States, a similar wave of discontent is being observed. The most affluent (white, upper middle class) are complaining that opportunities for their children is ever reducing-- even though almost 50% (if not more) of any tier-1 college is white. In comparison only 30% of the seats in Delhi University are actually open to non minorities. Essentially there isn't much of a disparity, however the new government is finding ways to revoke Obama era affirmative action plans.
This focus on affirmative action is taking from another quota in the American system-- Legacy Students. Legacy students (or legacies) are candidates who are given bonus points because their parents went to the same college. According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) said colleges shouldn’t consider an applicant’s race. Yet they were more evenly divided over legacies. While 52 percent said colleges shouldn’t consider whether an applicant’s parents are alumni, 46 percent said that should be a factor. There are definitely both sides to the coin. A sustained partnership with a school should be rewarded but should it be prized over a student who might be a better fit to the college? While some larger public universities such as Georgia State understand this issue and have reduced the number of legacy admissions, some of the more prestigious private colleges still run on the legacy membership model.
No matter where you stand on this debate, I find there to be some optimism here. At the end of the day, if you do get rejected from a college, it may not be that you were qualified for the college, it could just be that you didn't fit exactly what they were looking for and that's fine. Not every Harvard alum becomes a millionaire but a great education will always get you to your dreams.