Historical context -- The admissions process and "race-neutrality" -- Academic outcomes -- Advanced study : graduate and professional degrees -- Employment, earnings, and job satisfaction -- Civic participation and satisfaction with life -- Looking back : views of college -- Diversity : perceptions and realities -- Informing the debate -- Summing up -- Appendix A. The college and beyond database -- Appendix B. Notes on methodology -- Appendix C. Earnings in relation to advanced degrees, sector of employment, and occupation -- Appendix D. Additional tables. Across the country, in courts, classrooms, and the media, Americans are deeply divided over the use of race in admitting students to universities. Yet until now the debate over race and admissions has consisted mainly of clashing opinions, uninformed by hard evidence. This work, written by two of the country's most respected academic leaders, intends to change that. It brings a wealth of empirical evidence to bear on how race-sensitive admissions policies actually work and what effects they have on students of different races. William G. Bowen, argue that we can pass an informed judgment on the wisdom of race-sensitive admissions only if we understand in detail the college careers and the subsequent lives of students - or, to use a metaphor they take from Mark Twain, if we learn the shape of the entire river. The heart of the book is thus an unprecedented study of the academic, employment, and personal histories of more than 45,000 students of all races who attended academically selective universities between the 1970s and the early 1990s.