We thought we’d dissect the Supreme Court admissions case a bit more for our readers since it was a very important decision reached this week that has an impact on the world of highly selective college admissions. Affirmative Action — the consideration of race as a factor in college admission — is a policy that still stands after the ruling. But our nation’s highest court essentially issued a warning in its ruling that should give colleges some pause as they consider race in admissions decisions. Colleges must be able to show should they be challenged in court that they have indeed considered “race-neutral alternatives” and that the system of affirmative action is specifically designed to achieve the educational benefits that go hand in hand with increased diversity of the student body.
So are highly selective colleges going to stop using Affirmative Action policies now because they’re scared they won’t be able to demonstrate that they have considered “race-neutral alternatives” as first dictated in the seminal 2003 case upholding the use of Affirmative Action? No. We expect very few changes in actual practice at highly selective college admissions offices based upon this 7-1 Supreme Court decision, but we do anticipate schools being extra cautious on making sure they document ways in which they considered “race neutral alternatives.” We happen to think highly selective colleges heard the stern warning from this case and will enact some small changes to avoid getting named as the defendant in a future legal battle.
What do you think about the ruling? Do you think the decision will have a bigger impact than we at Ivy Coach do? If so, share your thoughts in the Comments section below as we’re always curious to hear them.