National Institute on Aging

Federal Government Issues New Guidance on Race-Sensitive Admissions

department-of-educationIn the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued a new guidance letter to presidents of the nation’s colleges and universities. The departments stated that their earlier guidance letters authorizing colleges and universities to continue using race as one factor in their admissions process remain valid and in effect.

The departments stated, “An individual student’s race can be considered as one of several factors in higher education admissions as long as the admissions program meets the well-established ‘strict scrutiny’ standard; specifically, the college or university must demonstrate that considering the race of individual applicants in its admissions program is narrowly tailored to meet the compelling interest in diversity, including that available, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.”


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