WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in college decisions on Thursday, June 29.
The ruling limits the ability to use race as a factor for students when applying to universities.
Many universities, including those located in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, have released statements, commenting on the court’s decision.
Today’s Supreme Court decision limiting the consideration of race in college admissions is a challenge, but one we are prepared to address. As stated in our message last week, American University is committed to inclusive excellence and we will continue to pursue our values through our scholarship, our teaching and learning, our work, and our community engagement. We are reviewing the court’s decision and evaluating its potential impact. We know this matter is of interest and importance to the AU community, and we will provide updates as our work progresses. We remain dedicated to fostering a diverse and vibrant AU community.
Bowie State University
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion today in two cases concerning affirmative action in college admissions validates the necessity and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 21st century, as HBCUs were established as a response to a lack of educational access to black U.S. citizens. The ruling is contrary to 45 years of precedent upholding the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions. This may seem daunting and unfair, but Bowie State has a history of rising to meet challenges.
BSU was founded in 1865 as a response to the state’s failure to fund schools for newly freed slaves and to educate a population that was disregarded. Now, 158 years later, our institution is still dedicated to serving all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality or other protected status and provide them what is required to hone their skills and abilities by accessing a high-quality education.
Our university core values are grounded in a commitment to provide higher education opportunities for all. Inclusivity and diversity are key components of BSU’s values, and we are focused on creating a supportive nurturing environment for our students. The recent increases in our enrollment of students of all backgrounds, is testament to the value that families have found in the quality programs that we offer. As a public university, we will continue to work to make our campus a beacon of opportunity.
Catholic University of America
As you might have seen, today the Supreme Court ruled that the race-conscious admissions programs used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution. In light of that ruling, I want to affirm that The Catholic University of America welcomes and encourages diversity on our campus, and this decision will have no impact on those continuing efforts.
The Catholic Church’s teaching, which comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, emphasizes the dignity and value of every human person. And it is because we have a diverse campus that we can provide our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be citizens who contribute to our nation, just as our founder, Pope Leo XIII, commanded when chartering the University in 1887.
Today’s ruling does not change Catholic University’s approach to valuing diversity in our campus community as we welcome students to our faith-based campus who seek to continue their educational and spiritual journeys.
George Mason University
Today’s United States Supreme Court decision barring the consideration of race for college admissions will not disrupt admissions operations at George Mason University, because Mason does not factor race into its admissions decisions.
George Mason’s admissions processes are race-neutral and have been test-optional for undergraduate admissions since 2007, more than a decade ahead of the national trend. As Virginia’s most diverse public university, Mason has long embraced an inclusive admissions policy that offers everyone who is academically prepared for the rigors of study at this top-ranked research university the opportunity to pursue the life of their choice.
When students apply to Mason, they are evaluated on their high school academic performance, extracurricular and community activities, and personal essays. Students who demonstrate they are prepared to succeed academically are admitted. As a result, we are proud to report an admission rate of more than 90 percent for undergraduates.
When we must decline admissions to applicants, we do our best to point them to alternate pathways to a college degree, which we hope will eventually lead them back to Mason for a bachelor’s degree and beyond.
While here, Mason students learn in an environment ranked by The Wall Street Journal as a top-50 public university experience. And when they graduate, they do so at rates above the national average, and without the performance disparities among demographic groups that most universities must contend with. Ultimately, Mason graduates are in high demand by regional employers, enjoying career successes that are comparable with even the most elite universities in the nation.
In August, Mason will once again welcome the largest and most diverse student body in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This diversity of origin, identity, circumstance, and thought is what drives our quality and defines our character. When walking across one of our campuses, the rich diversity everyone sees is not artificially curated by an admissions process primarily defined by keeping students out. It is attributable to our historic recognition that limitations of commonly accepted measures, like problematic standardized test scores or legacy affiliation, compel us to take a broader view of student potential. We have long sought to expand our reach to all communities, not lock down our opportunities for just a few.
To the countless students and parents who may now wonder if there is a place in college for them: be assured that there is. Everyone belongs at a university like George Mason, which commits itself fully to inclusive admissions, enrollment, university life, graduation, and career success.
George Mason University is proudly Virginia’s largest, most diverse, and top-ranked university for innovation. Today’s ruling will not change that.
George Washington University
As a preeminent research institution, GW’s mission is to provide excellent educational programs, advance research and scholarship, and cultivate the next generation of leaders from all backgrounds. We work every day to create a learning environment that reflects the rich diversity of our nation and the world. We do this because we recognize the unique ways different people contribute in an academic setting, and we understand that when people with a diversity of thought, experiences, and backgrounds come together, we maximize our positive impact on society and bring better solutions to the world’s most urgent problems.
For decades, race-conscious admissions have played a pivotal role in advancing our institution’s mission, enriching the educational experience of our students, and cultivating a vibrant tapestry of diversity that supports learning and personal growth. Consideration of race in admissions as part of a holistic review of applications has long been part of GW’s approach to enrollment. This has helped our university and many others strengthen diversity on our campuses, broaden our impact, and prepare our graduates for the future. Until now, this approach has been permitted under the law.
This is why we write to you today deeply disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling.
Fostering a diverse community and expanding our impact now become more difficult. The court’s decision, which prohibits use of race as a factor in the admissions process, will likely affect how we enroll diverse and talented undergraduate and graduate students who make our vibrant community what it is today. It also threatens our students’ ability to thrive after graduation, as they work, live, and learn in an increasingly diverse world.
However, while many of us are disheartened by this ruling, we must not be discouraged. Diversity of our student body remains a core value of the university, and it is crucial to furthering inclusive excellence on our campuses. We are fortunate to be part of a community of scholars and leaders who affirm the value of a diverse community and remain committed to the important work of strengthening diversity, equity, and belonging.
Given the court’s ruling, university leadership will consider any necessary changes to our current practices, and we will operate within the constraints of the law. But we want to be clear that the values guiding us will remain: A diverse student body is essential to our mission, and it is a key element of a high-quality education that best prepares our students to succeed, thrive, and lead locally and globally.
This latest decision by the Court does not change what we know to be true: diversity matters in fulfilling our obligations in preparing future citizens — future stakeholders in our democracy. We continue to be committed to taking steps to build a better future — ensuring that the full range of voices, histories, and experiences are included in our academic community as we work to fulfill our mission.
While we are deeply disappointed in today’s decisions and will continue to comply with the law, we remain committed to our efforts to recruit, enroll, and support students from all backgrounds to ensure an enriching educational experience that can best be achieved by engaging with a diverse group of peers.
Affirmative action was built on hope — the hope that we could be better in the future than we’ve been in the past. Georgetown embraced this hope. Now, we will need to find new ways of restoring this hope.
Today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn affirmative action is deeply concerning. As a University dedicated to racial equity and justice, and whose faculty, students and storied alumni have advocated on the front lines to achieve equitable access for people of color, we understand the incredible challenge this decision will create for far too many individuals and communities.
The decision will not only have a devastating impact on the diversity of colleges and universities across the country, but will also decrease access to higher education for students of color everywhere. Education is still a top driver of economic success for all Americans, and this decision will have far-reaching ramifications for those seeking equity in the college admissions process and beyond.
At our core, Howard University is committed to developing scholars and professionals who drive change. At a time when we need it most, it is disheartening to know that this ruling will hinder certain students from gaining admission to institutions of higher learning and receiving a quality education that can prepare them to be change agents and contributing members of our society.
We will continue to partner with those institutions and organizations that understand the critical role affirmative action has played in ensuring equitable access to education for students of color and will closely monitor how today’s decision will impact higher education trends in the short and long term. We will also encourage others to join us in advocating for policies and legislation that safeguard a stronger future by increasing, not decreasing, educational opportunities for all.
At Marymount University, race is not a factor that is considered within admissions decisions, so we don’t foresee the need to make any significant changes to our overall admissions process as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision. However, Marymount is known for its incredibly diverse campus community – we’re ranked 23rd in the nation for diversity, and we’re more diverse than any other college or university in the nation’s capital. It’s critically important to expose our students to diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, and it results in a transformational experience for all involved. So, I have deep concerns over how this ruling will impact U.S. higher education going forward and how it may limit other institutions from providing similar environments in their university communities. Here at Marymount, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to identifying and eliminating barriers of entry for students of all backgrounds.
Diversity brings value to the places and spaces where we learn and work, and that belief is unquestioned at Montgomery College. This ruling not only impacts students’ sense of belonging in higher education, it also detracts from their potential growth and professional success. For the 79% of Montgomery College students who identify as people of color, this ruling has the power to create another systemic barrier that potentially limits some of their opportunities in transfer to four-year institutions. Montgomery College continues, as an open access institution, to welcome all people who want to pursue education and opportunity. We encourage other institutions to do the same.
University of Maryland
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the use of race as a factor in the college application review process violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
While we do not yet know the full impact of this decision on our admission practices, we do know that our already-unassailable commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus must strengthen and grow within the bounds of the law. Our Enrollment Management team and campus administration have been preparing for this moment, and we are confident in our path forward.
At a time when students who have historically faced the greatest barriers to accessing higher education are being told that the admission process may become more challenging than ever, we have a clear, loud and true message: we will remain a national leader by encouraging and supporting students of all backgrounds as they apply, enroll and graduate from the University of Maryland. The educational value of campus diversity is one we will not sacrifice.
We prepare for change from a position of strength.
Students apply and come to the University of Maryland because they know that we offer a campus of people with diverse perspectives, cultures and experiences. Our recent classes have increased in racial diversity and, at the same time, our academic competitiveness has also increased. This allows us to be a place where all students have the opportunity to meet their full potential. We are proud of our graduation and retention rates for Black and African American, and Hispanic and Latinx students, which are among the highest in the nation. We are proud of the impact that our graduates have on our society. We are emphatic that these strengths will continue to attract a diverse student body and allow us to continue to ascend as an institution.
We are examining the immediate impact of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Needless to say, this decision is disappointing. Race has never been the determining factor here at the University of Maryland. Instead, it was one of 26 unique factors that we have considered in undergraduate admissions. It has been said that it’s impossible to dismantle centuries of racism without acknowledging and considering race in the decisions we make today. However, we remain optimistic that our campus will continue to attract and retain a diverse student body.
We believe strongly that diversity and excellence are intertwined.
Excellence and diversity are an essential part of the Terrapin experience. To ensure our community continues to live up to these expectations, in addition to other efforts, we will multiply our recruitment efforts focused on what Maryland offers its students—a commitment to inclusive excellence where all have the opportunity to succeed. Increasing the diversity of our applicant pool can have a tremendous impact on the diversity of our student body.”
There is no getting around the fact that the role of race is changing in college admissions, but the University of Maryland will move forward with a bolstered commitment and a singular voice.