Affirmative Action Challenge

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and UNC

America’s higher education institutions have long recognized and cultivated the educational benefits of diversity. Current holistic admissions practices adhere to a legal framework that has grounded diversity efforts for decades. AACRAO believes these practices are instrumental in helping institutions to identify students who are likely to thrive in their educational programs.

There is a long history of case law that supports the use of holistic assessment’s focus on diversity and confirms that colleges and universities have a compelling interest in ensuring student body diversity. As student demographics undergo rapid change, more colleges and universities are looking beyond traditional measures to admit future students. To remove the consideration of non-academic factors is unfair to applicants for whom this is a critical part of their life and would deprive applicants of full and due consideration of their lived experiences.

Up-to-date Guidance

AACRAO encourages members to begin to examine any admissions or recruitment practices that target populations of a specific race as well as their overall holistic/equity admissions practices.

To assist in this process, AACRAO is providing this guidance document to prepare our members for a possible major change in their ability to consider an applicant’s race and ethnicity as part of a holistic/equity review in admissions. 


Webinar: Looking Back, Planning Ahead

On February 2, 2023, AACRAO hosted a webinar that examines the pending U.S. Supreme cases where the central question is whether colleges and universities can continue to consider an applicant’s race and ethnicity as part of the holistic review process in admissions.

View Recording


Students for Fair Admissions Files Supreme Court Brief

May 4, 2022, 15:01 PM
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Summary : Group formally asks the court to reverse decisions that assert the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill.
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On Monday, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court formally asking it to reverse decisions that assert the constitutionality of the race-conscious admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reported Inside Higher Ed. In particular, SFFA asked the court to overturn the landmark 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger ruling, which permits the use of race in admissions decisions to promote student diversity.

Edward Blum, president of the group, said, "The ancient faith that gave birth to our nation's civil rights laws is the principle that an individual's race should not be used to help or harm them in their life's endeavors. It is the hope of the vast majority of all Americans that the justices end these polarizing admissions policies."

Next week is the deadline for groups to file amicus briefs in support of the Students for Fair Admissions position, Inside Higher Ed reported. Harvard and UNC respond on July 25.

Related Link

Inside Higher Ed 

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Advocacy
  • Affirmative Action Challenge
  • Diversity and Inclusion
Tags :
  • Affirmative Action
  • Affirmative Action Challenge
  • Federal relations
  • in the courts
  • Race
  • race-conscious
  • supreme court
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