On Monday, the Supreme Court heard two cases affecting the extent to which universities can consider an applicant’s race during the admissions process: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.
The court is considering whether the policies designed to boost Black and Hispanic student enrollment are discriminatory and violate civil rights. Numerous institutions across the US could be adversely affected by the court’s decision.
Here’s what you need to know:
Affirmative action is a contentious issue in the US education system
63% of US adults support the Supreme Court banning race-based admissions at colleges and universities
Moreover, 64% favor programs that increase racial diversity on college campuses
The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by July 2023
It is common for higher education institutions to place a high value on achieving student diversity, not only to address racial inequalities and exclusions in American society but also to bring different perspectives to campuses.
Critics have argued that considering race in admission is discriminatory, but those who are advocates of affirmative action say that it corrects layers of inequalities in society that keep minorities from accessing elite institutions.
California, Florida, Georgia, and Michigan are among nine states that prohibit the use of race as a factor in college admissions.