Students For Fair Admissions claims that 45% of African-Americans and Hispanics are at elite institutions because of racial preferences. This means that 55% are there on the basis of merit. If that sounds obvious. remember than one of the difficulties minority students face is self-doubt whether they are as capable as the other students. It's one of the reasons that over-acceptance and over-promotion is a gift that comes at a cost.
Princeton and Dartmouth, for example, do not take African-American students from a random selection of applicants. They take them from the first-tier, then the second. There are plenty there. They don't have to go to third-tier candidates. Because the prestige of a degree from an Ivy-League or other elite school far exceeds the added accomplishment to obtain it, the school is thus bestowing as a gift a significant head start to its students. Stanford grads perform better on average in the classroom and do better on their GRE's than Davidson or UVA, but not that much better. The textbooks are the same.
Glenn Reynolds suggests that abolishing the Ivy League would do a great deal toward improving equality and egalitarian spirit.