The Waning Days of Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action, Race in Admissions, Race Conscious Admissions

The end is near for Affirmative Action as we know it.

Over the years, Ivy Coach’s crystal ball has made many predictions on issues related to highly selective college admissions. In a 2014 article within America’s oldest college newspaper, “The Dartmouth,” that very crystal ball was even mentioned by our firm’s Founder — we’re surely not shy about referencing it to the public. As the articles goes, “‘Before our interview ended, I asked Ivy Coach exactly how she can be sure of a client’s likelihood of getting into his or her top choice. ‘We have a crystal ball,’ she said. I couldn’t tell if she was joking.” We weren’t joking. No, no we weren’t.

Our Crystal Ball’s New Reading on Admissions

And that very crystal ball has a new reading. It doesn’t give readings daily or even weekly but every now and then it makes a bold prediction. So what’s its prediction today? Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball predicts that the end of Affirmative Action is near. More specifically, our crystal ball predicts that Students for Fair Admissions will claim victory over Harvard University in federal court. But our crystal ball’s reading doesn’t stop there. It also forecasts that the victory will lead to the Supreme Court taking on the issue of Affirmative Action. And, yes, our crystal ball predicts the Supreme Court will vote 5-4 to dismantle the practice of using race as a factor in admissions.

But that’s not the end of our crystal ball’s reading. Our crystal ball also suggests that the ruling by the Supreme Court will have little impact on the use of race in college admissions. The Supreme Court, after all, cannot eliminate implicit bias. The Supreme Court cannot — on its own — change hearts and minds. The Supreme Court cannot — on its own — end stereotyping. Maybe colleges won’t be allowed to ask an applicant’s race on the college application in the years to come. But that doesn’t mean they won’t assume an applicant’s race and allow that assumption to factor into their decision-making.

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