(CTN News) – Supreme Court; Since the 1960s and 70s, the University of North Carolina and Harvard have admitted a larger number of Black students and other students of color.
When it comes to determining whether to admit a student, Harvard, UNC, and other universities have considered a variety of factors including a student’s race, academic merit, athletics, extracurricular activities, and others. Now, the Supreme Court could change all of this.
Two affirmative action cases will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court today.
It would be unconstitutional for universities to consider a student’s race as part of a holistic admissions review process if the court strikes down affirmative action, also known as race-conscious admissions policies.
Amicus briefs were filed earlier this year by the ACLU of Massachusetts, ACLU of North Carolina, and the American Civil Liberties Union. They urged the Supreme Court to allow colleges to consider race in admissions.
Listed below are some key questions about race conscious admissions policies, how they work, and what’s at stake at the Supreme Court.
Affirmative action, or race-conscious admissions policies, is what they are.
By recognizing and responding to structural barriers that deny underrepresented students access to higher education, race conscious policies, such as affirmative action, address racial discrimination.
In order to create a diverse student body that enriches the educational experience of all students, universities use race-conscious admissions practices.
In what cases is the Supreme Court considering race-conscious admissions policies?
There are two cases in which the Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold universities’ right to consider race in college admissions: Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard, and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), led by anti-affirmative action crusader Edward Blum, is once again seeking to eliminate all race-conscious admissions practices following previous failed attempts.
Previously, the Supreme Court has rejected Blum’s arguments and held that universities can consider race in admissions to promote diversity on campus and enrich students’ learning experiences.
In the admissions process, what legal rights do universities and colleges have to consider race?
It is very helpful for colleges to have a diverse student body in order to promote academic freedom and equal treatment.
A holistic, race-conscious admissions process extends a university’s academic freedom by assembling students from diverse backgrounds.
It is not possible for a university to select its student body if it does not consider race when making admissions decisions.
Additionally, the consideration of race in college admissions furthers the values of equal protection under the Constitution by contributing to the reduction of stereotypes, promoting integration on college campuses, and improving the capacity of students of all races to participate in the academic community.