Press Statement: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Consideration of Race/Ethnicity in College Admissions

June 23rd, 2016

Supreme Court affirms that considering race is a way to achieve educational benefits that flow from student body diversity

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2016) – Today the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of public universities to consider race and ethnicity in college admissions. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion stated, “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

The Campaign for College Opportunity applauds the Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin for sending a clear message that there is no proxy for race when it comes to ensuring a diverse student body that is essential to our nation’s economic future.

In the twenty years since California banned the consideration of race in university admissions with the passage of Proposition 209, racial inequities in college access have persisted and grown over time. In the last twenty years, admission rates for Blacks and Latinos at the University of California (UC) declined by 37 and 32 points, respectively, compared to 25 points for Whites.