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Ivy League schools examining admission policies to balance diversity efforts with Supreme Court ruling

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This summer, the Supreme Court ruled that race could not be used as a factor in the college admission process. The ruling technically impacts every institution, with the exception of the military academies. However, highly selective schools have been forced back to the admissions drawing board at a much higher rate and are currently planning for a post-affirmative action landscape.

Prestigious institutions like those found in the Ivy League are feeling the impact of the affirmative action ruling more than most for two main reasons. Highly selective schools like Harvard and Yale have long argued that they have a harder time meeting their diversity goals without using race as a factor, but they also draw more attention from conservatives when they do so. The latter often leads to lawsuits like the one against Harvard that reached the Supreme Court this summer.

Yale was the subject of one such lawsuit brought by the prominent anti-affirmative action group, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA). However, the group dropped the case after the university voluntarily agreed to make changes to its admission process following the Supreme Court’s decision. Nevertheless, the school claims to remain committed to diversity.

“We are pleased that, after hearing Yale’s description of the steps we will take to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling, SFFA has decided to dismiss its case against Yale,” said Yale in a statement. “Yale’s priorities remain unchanged: fully complying with the law, continuing to support a diverse and inclusive community, and maintaining a world-class admissions process that considers each applicant as an individual. We are confident that we can preserve these priorities going forward.”

Yale will reportedly not only prevent race from being used as a factor in admissions or scholarships but also prevent the dissemination of such demographic information in the first place.

One state over, Brown University is also examining its own process. However, they are grappling with the admission of students from legacy or donor backgrounds. Legacy and donor admissions have come under increased scrutiny since the Supreme Court decision.

“Concerns about the use of various preferences in admissions have been growing over time but have become amplified in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down race-conscious admissions,” wrote Brown University President Christina H. Paxson in a letter. “There is intense interest among policymakers, the public at large, and our own students and alumni in ensuring that admissions practices are as fair and equitable as possible.”

This sentiment echoes a similar charge put forth by the Biden Administration, which has offered guidelines to schools that want to maintain diversity in the wake of the recent ruling.

Contact Indy Kids Winning Reporter Andrew Pillow at andrewp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewPillow.

Andrew’s work is supported through a partnership between Indy Kids Winning and the Indianapolis Recorder. Visit indykidswinning.com to learn more.

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