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Racial Equity in Higher Education Starts in the Admissions Office

The Supreme Court announced on January 24, 2022 that it will reconsider race-based affirmative action in college admissions. Specifically, the Court has said it will hear challenges to policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina that use students’ race among many criteria to decide who should gain a coveted place in an entering class. The cases would be heard in the session that begins next October, with a decision likely by June 2023.

In light of this announcement, we are revisiting a 2020 article in the Urban Wire, “Racial Equity in Higher Education Starts in the Admissions Office” by Kelia Washington. Washington argues that, “where students attend college has serious implications for both the education attainment and racial wealth gap, yet more selective, and arguably better resourced, colleges in the US are serving disproportionately high shares of white and Asian students, while Black and Hispanic students are disproportionately enrolled in open access, less selective, and for-profit colleges.”

“These trends are important because of the variation in outcomes across sectors. Students at for-profit colleges have disproportionately high rates of student loan default, for example, yet more selective public and private colleges can act as vehicles of economic mobility.”

Read the entire article here.

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