1. This is a military academy, which means it's both taxpayer supported and charged with producing men who will defend the country; producing quality graduates here is more important than at your average diploma mill.
2. The author is a professor at said academy, and starkly lays out both the huge extent of racial preferences and the long-term lower performance of admittees under this system.
Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.
A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.
Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.
Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated....
Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.)
Of course, some minority students are stellar, but they're the exception. Despite being dragged toward the finish line, minorities graduate at about a 10 percent lower rate than the whole class, which of course includes them (so the real split is greater).