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U.S. Supreme Court Votes to End Affirmative Action in Admissions

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Building a diverse cohort in U.S. higher education will now require a modified approach as the Supreme Court ruled to exclude a key factor in applicants’ history—race. For decades, the goal of affirmative action has been to give equal access to the opportunities enjoyed by the majority population to defined minority groups. Higher education presents such an opportunity, but the Supreme Court ruled that related admissions policies violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The two cases brought before the Supreme Court were by Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., one v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (6-3 vote) and the other v. the University of North Carolina (6-2 vote). According to NPR, the ruling “could end the ability of colleges and universities — public and private — to do what most say they still need to do: consider race as one of many factors in deciding which of the qualified applicants is to be admitted.”

Some schools have already responded to the decision:

Harvard University released in a statement, “For almost a decade, Harvard has vigorously defended an admissions system that, as two federal courts ruled, fully complied with longstanding precedent. In the weeks and months ahead, drawing on the talent and expertise of our Harvard community, we will determine how to preserve, consistent with the Court’s new precedent, our essential values.”

The President of the University of Southern California also posted:

The University of Washington President said:

The ripples of this Supreme Court decision have yet to be seen in MBA admissions and Clear Admit will continue to cover the effects of this decision as they unfold.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.