How the End of Affirmative Action in College Admissions Will Affect Black Students
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

How the End of Affirmative Action in College Admissions Will Affect Black Students

It wasn't unexpected, but the Supreme Court's bombshell ruling effectively ends race-based admissions in U.S. universities

In a move that shouldn't be surprising to anyone familiar with the Supreme Court's conservative leaning, decades of precedent supporting affirmative action at colleges has been overturned today. The court looked at a challenge of race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not surprisingly, the vote split the court along liberal and conservative lines.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion, “The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race." Of course, the experiences of the individual factor in decades, if not centuries, of systemic racism, which Roberts acknowledged: “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”

But it's likely the decision will be interpreted through the U.S. education system as the end of race as a consideration for college admissions and will roll back decades of the idea being upheld in previous rulings.

The New Yorker was already ahead of this decision with an analysis of what will happen next. "Colleges and universities will have to admit students using only methods that are 'race-neutral,' and will not be allowed to consciously consider any applicant’s race."

Related: Does Ron DeSantis Plan to Eliminate Black Fraternities and Sororities?

But that won't change universities' need to strive for a diverse student body, even as some states are attacking college diversity programs. Will race-neutral programs create a whole new set of legal challenges? Reuters reports that about nine states were already ahead of the decision, banning race-based consideration for college admissions. But nationwide about a quarter of colleges use it as a "moderate" or "considerable" factor in admissions.

Click here to sign up for G-Code, LEVEL's weekly newsletter.

Expect lots of elite universities to revamp their admission policies (although many of them keep that methodology private), and for Republicans to do a victory dance all the way through the 4th of July over the decision.