How do you define "merit" in regards to College Admissions? - Should race/gender be a factor?

There is clearly an issue as to what constitutes "merit" when analyzing who is "college-ready". In my opinion, high school grades are considered the best way to predict college success but grades do not always give a clear representation about a person's character, creativity, or other non-cognitive data, so how does one measure "merit"?
If Standardized testing is to be the only criteria in determining merit, the confirmed bias of SAT tests has to be addressed:
"The confirmation of unfair test results throws into question the validity of the test and, consequently, all decisions based on its results. All admissions decisions based exclusively or predominantly on SAT performance -- and therefore access to higher education institutions and subsequent job placement and professional success -- appear to be biased against the African American minority group and could be exposed to legal challenge," – Harvard Educational Review ( )
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Should race play a role in the college admissions process? (for example: affirmative action) Other related questions to consider: Should colleges lower the bar just to have a more diverse student population? What type of effect will this have on college students? (Will minority students at prestigious universities be looked at like they were only accepted into the Ivory Tower because of affirmative action rather than cognitive ability?) If race is to be removed from college applications, shouldn't students’ names and genders be removed also to make the process completely unbiased?

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I feel that if other criteria are going to be looked at to determine whether or not students are good enough for college, those criteria should be applied & used for all applicants not just minority applicants. What are your thoughts?

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How could standardized testing be racially biased? If you're smart, you do well. If you're not, you don't.
No, race and gender should not be factor. Those are totally out of a person's control and mean nothing in the world of academia.
Colleges should not lower the bar for anyone. Either you're good enough or you're not.

Why is this not votable.

Race/gender should not be a factor at all. It should be based purely on grades, standardized testing, extra-curriculars and other things like that. Those are what makes up "merit". If people got into certain colleges or universities because of their race/gender instead of their abilities, ambitions and goals, then it is not fair to say a white boy who is just as if not more capable.

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