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Supreme Court Ends Affirmative Action in College Admissions, Raising Concern Over Potential Impact on College Diversity

FILE - Activists demonstrate as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on a pair of cases that could decide the future of affirmative action in college admissions, in Washington, Oct. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Supreme Court’s decision on ending affirmative action in college admissions raises concern over its impact on the diverse students applying to college universities.

When Did Affirmative Action in College Admissions Start?

During the civil rights movement, affirmative action in college admissions was implemented in higher education with the purpose of promoting diversity in student populations, which were predominantly composed of white students. In the latter part of the 1960s, educational institutions began including race as a criterion in their admissions process, providing supplementary consideration to underrepresented communities. From its inception, affirmative action has remained a subject of controversy, with opposing viewpoints engaging in discussions about its effectiveness, fairness, and legality.

According to Forbes the recent Supreme Court decision to reject affirmative action in college admissions is set to disrupt the way top schools in America mold their student populations, influence the choices of prospective students, and allocate funding to various programs and campus initiatives.  The Court’s ruling has an immediate impact on higher education institutions, delivering a clear message to predominantly Black and Hispanic students who have faced exclusion from elite schools.

In a 6-3 decision, the justices remove universities’ long-standing diversity methods and practices by affirming that applicants should be evaluated solely on their individual experiences and not based on race, as Chief Justice John Roberts stated in his majority opinion.

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Harvard student, Samaga Pokharel, right, and other activists rally as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on a pair of cases that could decide the future of affirmative action in college admissions, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What Financial Impact Will the Decision Have on Students?

The student loan debt currently exceeding $1.7 trillion serves as a concerning indicator of the financial difficulties confronting students. As per the Federal Reserve, the average student loan debt for a bachelor’s degree has surpassed $30,000.

Black and Hispanic students bear a disproportionate burden of student loan debt compared to white students, primarily because they are more inclined to borrow for college and accumulate higher debt levels.

Many Black, Hispanic, and Native American individuals, whose lives were influenced by affirmative action college admissions, are now facing a personal reckoning with its intricate legacy. In numerous interviews with The New York Times, those who attended prestigious schools, unsure if their race provided an advantage or not, expressed a mix of emotions.

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