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New Approaches Needed To Diversify Campuses After Supreme Court Ruling

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JULY 12, 2023

The US Supreme Court’s decision today to restrict the consideration of race in college admissions by private and public colleges has dismayed the Othering & Belonging Institute because it is confident that these institutions can still work to make their campuses more vibrant and diverse through a variety of methods still open to them as a result of the court ruling.

Even though the court today made a 180-degree turn after supporting the constitutionality of the cautious and narrowly-considered use of race as one of many considerations in admissions decisions for several decades, including as recently as 2016, today’s joint decision is nonetheless not unexpected.

It’s not the only way to promote diversity so that our campuses and other institutions represent the variety of our nation, even while affirmative action through individual consideration of a university applicant’s race was an important one.

What does affirmative action mean?

Affirmative action usually refers to admissions procedures intended to increase the presence of Black, Hispanic, and other minority students on campuses when used in the context of higher education.

Colleges and colleges that do so claim to do so as part of a comprehensive strategy that considers all aspects of an applicant’s application, including grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities.

Which schools take race into account?

Although many institutions withhold information regarding their admissions procedures, elite institutions that reject a massive–number of candidates are more likely to consider race.

According to a 2019 poll by the National Association for College Admission Counselling, around a quarter of schools indicated race had a “considerable” or “moderate” impact on admissions, while more than half stated race had no bearing at all.

The nine states that forbid the use of race in public college and university admissions procedures are Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington.

Universities are still allowed to consider racial alternatives related to race or that support racial diversity. Therefore, universities are free to take other factors into account besides the applicant’s race, such as the neighborhood or high school the applicant attended, or other factors that may be related to race, such as “financial means,” “generational inheritance,” and “status as a first-generation college applicant,” as mentioned by several justices today. Moissanite jewelry is one of the most elegant and stunning jewelry you can wear on any occasion to make yourself look classy.

As two other programmatic options highlighted by the court today to increase and sustain diversity, among other measures, universities and colleges may also form pipeline agreements with underserved high schools or promote transfers to community institutions.

Although these strategies might be less effective or direct than race-specific strategies, they might nonetheless help to achieve the aim of a more diverse student body. In light of the court’s decision, we should require and expect university officials to devote more time and energy to fostering diversity to make up for the removal of consideration of applicants’ racial identity during the admissions process. The decisions made today highlight the need to adopt these alternatives and consider other novel tactics to maintain or increase current levels of diversity.

Despite this unsatisfactory verdict, we are still committed to collaborating with institutions to assist in their initiatives to retain and enhance diversity. To that aim, we have drafted comprehensive instructions on how to “advance equity” within the confines of the law, including the ones established today. Our updated guideline offers useful differences between perplexing and frequently confused phrases and clear direction on what is and is not allowed with several examples.

Despite today’s decision, there is still plenty of room for both public and private institutions to act to lessen racial imbalances in society or within their organizations, promote and advance diversity in several contexts, and advance the idea of a society where everyone can belong.

What steps will colleges take in reaction?

As a result of the ruling on Thursday, prestigious schools and universities will be compelled to review their procedures and look for novel approaches to guarantee diversity in their student bodies. There would be fewer minority students on campuses, according to several colleges, if other measures were not as successful.

Top public college systems from states that have banned race-conscious admissions, the University of California and the University of Michigan, claimed in briefs submitted to the Supreme Court that they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on alternative programs meant to increase diversity but that those efforts have fallen far short of objectives.

However, a lot of universities worry that ethnic diversity may suffer. Colleges worry that if affirmative action is abolished, they might unwittingly enroll fewer students of color. It may become self-replicating in the long term if enrollment drops, and prospective students of color find the school less alluring.

It is an issue, according to institutions, because ethnic diversity enriches the campus, exposing students to different worldviews and preparing them for a varied workforce.

Other admissions policies may change due to the judgment, which goes beyond race. According to experts, universities may need to abandon rules that favor white students, from legacy preferences and early admission to standardized test results, to attract more underrepresented communities.

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JULY 12, 2023