SCOTUS's Decision On Affirmative Action Has Schools On Edge

By Pamela Glass | Friday, 27 May 2022 05:15
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With a possible ruling in the Supreme Court about affirmative action looming, the chance of it being overturned has elite college campuses struggling to figure out how to stick to their “diversity” attempts without being able to factor in race.

According to The Boston Globe, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two cases about the consideration of race in admissions to highly selective colleges. One case involves Harvard, while the difference pertains to the University of North Carolina. A ruling is expected in 2024.

The Globe pointed to the recent Supreme Court leak indicating that a majority of justices would vote to topple Roe v Wade in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, declaring that “The court’s rightward shift, and the Conservative majority’s recently leaked draft opinion in an abortion case, which signaled its willingness to overturn established precedent, suggests to many observers that the end of affirmative action may be imminent.”

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While affirmative action could face the chopping block, universities have emphasized their dedication to diversity in their admissions.

“Regardless of the court’s decision, we will continue to advance our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals,” announced Anthony Monaco, President of Tufts University. “Diversity is vital to creating a climate that encourages learning both in and outside of the classroom, fosters respectful conversations across differences, and provides all our students with transformational experiences.”

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Admissions experts explained to the Globe that while there is no substitution for race, different factors can be weighed, like geographical regions.

“It’s not that this is going to be in lieu of race, but I think colleges will still have an opportunity to diversify their funnels,” announced Angel Perez, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “A lot of it starts with, how do you get students to even apply and come to the door?”

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The National Association for College Admission Counseling is working with other organizations on an amicus brief in the case, arguing in favor of using race in admissions.

Perez announced that using these strategies has helped public institutions in California, which have been banned from considering race in admissions since 1996.

Both cases were brought forth by Students for Fair Admissions, with the cases claiming that affirmative action policies have discriminated against Asian American and White applicants, with universities preferring Black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants instead.

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Edward Blum, founder of Students for Fair Admissions, declared that his representatives have claimed in court that universities have failed to consider other alternatives to race, including socioeconomic status, eliminating legacy admissions, growing financial aid, and geographic diversity, amongst other topics in their admissions.

Specialists explained to the Globe that elite Universities like Harvard have more stake in the ruling because they are very selective in who they admit, unlike public universities.

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