The United States Supreme Court ruled against implementing affirmative action in college admissions, ruling that race cannot be a consideration and compelling universities to search for alternative approaches to achieving diverse student bodies.
After permitting American institutions to take race into limited consideration in admissions for forty-five years, Chief Justice John Roberts said on the 29th of June that American universities have far too long “concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”
According to the court’s majority opinion, the school’s affirmative action programs “unavoidably negatively employ race, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful endpoints.”
The outcome of the case Students for Fair Admissions v Harvard was on the expected lines as Affirmative Action at American Colleges, especially the University of California and the University of Texas, has been a matter of heated debate for years. Politics aside, the ruling, however, now more than ever, begs the question of the scenario for future applications at these colleges.
What does the data say?
Let’s keep the politics aside and let the data speak for itself; in a recent Pew Research Center survey, only one-third of American citizens (33%) approved of selective universities using race and ethnicity in admissions choices, compared to the majority half who disapproved. A previous BestColleges survey showed that most students (59%) and college students’ social experiences (62%) agree that racial and cultural diversity enhances the learning environment. However, only 37% of students favor considering race and ethnicity to determine college admittance. The same report also pointed out that affirmative action is opposed by 33% of Black respondents, while 38% of them support it.
The recent ruling by a six-justice conservative supermajority declared that Harvard and the University of North Carolina had violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by considering students’ race as one of several factors in their admissions process. The writing on the wall became pretty straightforward, especially for most elite institutions in the country, as they will need to develop alternative strategies to attain diversity goals.
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It’s just another day for most colleges and universities
In the United States, there are roughly 4,000 colleges and universities, but only less than 200 of them have highly selective admissions policies, meaning fewer than 50% of applicants are accepted. There are just over 200 colleges where the decision about a race-conscious admissions procedure may significantly impact.
Georgetown University researchers conducted simulations in March to assess the potential consequences of eliminating race as a factor in college admissions. Their findings revealed that a nationwide ban would likely reduce ethnic diversity among students attending selective colleges. However, they also emphasized that a comprehensive overhaul of the college admissions system would be necessary for a sustainable solution. This overhaul would eliminate practices such as legacy admissions and athletic recruitment, among other measures.
What about the legacy admissions?
The Supreme Court’s decision to reject race-based affirmative action in college admissions has increased pressure on renowned colleges and universities to drop another preference that is now much more difficult to defend: a benefit for candidates whose mother or father attended the institution.
The so-called “legacy” benefit is coming under fire from the White House, Capitol Hill, and regular Americans who perceive it as an unjust benefit that favors the wealthy and White applicants over the poor and applicants of color since it is inherited. Affirmative action is no longer defendable if it does not counterbalance the practice.
The legacy admissions at institutions like Harward will also take a hit due to the passed verdict. Democrats and Republicans have called for eliminating legacy admissions since the Supreme Court declared colleges and universities cannot consider race a criterion for admission.
One should never give up on the dream of getting into an Ivy League School!! If you are confident in your potential and skills, work hard to achieve the goal!!
Overall the picture is not grim at all. The Affirmative Action Ruling truly affects only a few chosen colleges and universities, which leaves plenty of options for your brilliant young mind to search and apply to several colleges which provide an equally promising future!!
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