How the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision Impacts Students
Last updated August 17, 2023
You might have seen in the news that The Supreme Court recently reversed affirmative action in college admissions. While this is a significant ruling, you may find yourself unsure of what it means for you and how it will affect your college journey. Here are some key things to know about the end of affirmative action.
What is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action was first introduced in 1961 through a Presidential Executive Order. Since then, it has been an important tool in higher education to help combat systemic racism. Affirmative action policies at colleges aimed to promote equal opportunities for underrepresented students by taking race into consideration during the admissions process. Not only did affirmative action programs create a pathway for more low-income, first-generation, and minority students to attend college, they also fostered diverse college campuses and learning environments.
The Supreme Court's Decision
In June 2023, the Supreme Court overruled affirmative action, stating that colleges and universities can no longer use race as a specific basis for granting admission. This decision overturns long-standing policies on college campuses and raises concerns about the potential impact on underrepresented students in higher education.
How This Decision Impacts You
While the Supreme Court's ruling will significantly limit the consideration of a student’s race during the admissions process, it's important to note that colleges can still consider other aspects of your background and experiences. Factors such as being multilingual or being a first-generation college student can still be valued by admissions committees. Additionally, you can still talk about race and racism in your college admissions essay, especially in its impact on you and how you’ve responded. The Supreme Court's decision does not prohibit universities from considering how race has influenced your life. In fact, they encourage storytelling about your character and unique abilities, and how these aspects would contribute to the university's diverse community.
There are also other areas to focus on to help strengthen your college application. For example, dedicating time to studying for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT can significantly boost your chances. Additionally, participating in extracurricular activities showcases valuable qualities that colleges are looking for, such as leadership, teamwork, and a commitment to making a positive impact in your community. Lastly, highlighting any awards or accolades you've received can further enhance your application, as it can show colleges that you are hard-working and have earned respect from your peers and the adults around you. Consider including these awards and any supplemental materials like newspaper clippings or web articles to provide additional context and support.
Your Essay Matters More Than Ever
As college admissions continue to change, your college application essay carries even more weight. It provides you with an opportunity to showcase your voice, share your experiences, and highlight the qualities that make you a valuable addition to any campus community. After taking some time to decide which topic(s) you want to focus your college essays on and drafting them, remember that Get Schooled is here to review them all for free! One of our college advisors will review it and have it back to you within a week with free, actionable and personalized feedback.
Chances of College Acceptance
The specific impacts that this ruling will have on students during the college admissions process as a whole is still unknown since it’s still new. However, it’s completely understandable if you’re wondering if this decision will impact your chances of getting into college. While it may introduce new challenges, it is crucial to remember that you possess unique qualities and accomplishments that go beyond your racial identity. Your dedication, resilience, and personal achievements can make a significant impact on your college applications.
If you’re an underrepresented student, there are still plenty of resources out there to support you throughout your college journey! Get Schooled specifically prioritizes supporting low-income, first-generation, and minority youth because we recognize the historical and present-day impact of racism on the lives of youth and communities of color. If you’re considering going to college, in the process of applying to college, or unsure about where to begin, here are a few of the many resources we offer to get you started:
- How to Start Planning for College
- How to Research Schools and Build Your College List
- How to Effectively Find Scholarships
Celebrating Your Identity
The court's decision does not diminish your worth, potential, or impact you can make in your college journey, you are college material, and we believe in your ability to succeed. At Get Schooled, we know that your racial identity and the experiences connected to it are an important part of who you are. While the Supreme Court's decision to prevent race from being considered in college admissions may present many unknown challenges, it should not discourage you from celebrating your heritage, culture, and unique perspective in the application process. To the incredible high school students of color who are nearing graduation and embarking on their college journey, we want to affirm something important: we SEE you, we SUPPORT you, and most importantly, YOU are college material!