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The Supreme Court Ruled on Affirmative Action: Now What?

The Supreme Court's ruling will impact higher education admissions processes, read on for recommendations on how to move forward without formal legal policies in place.

Yesterday in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court overturned Affirmative Action.Here at Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga, we understand the impact and implications of this decision. This policy has played a critical role in addressing historical injustices and diversity within educational institutions. It has provided educational opportunities for underrepresented groups to access higher education and break the cycle of systemic inequality. By removing formal legal protections for underrepresented groups in the higher education admissions process, we risk regressing into a society that disregards the significant barriers that marginalized communities face. This decision threatens to perpetuate existing disparities and limit the transformative power of education in fostering a more inclusive and equitable society. In the midst of this historic decision, we must continue to strive for equal access and opportunity for all.


In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, it is crucial to provide support to students to ensure they have equitable opportunities for success. Here are three ways that we can support students in their educational pursuits:


Strengthen Outreach and Recruitment:


Institutions should prioritize outreach efforts to underrepresented communities, ensuring that students from diverse backgrounds are aware of the educational opportunities available to them. By actively engaging with and supporting these students, we can mitigate the impact of the absence of a formal policy.


Implement Holistic Admissions Criteria:


Institutions can also adopt holistic admissions criteria that consider a wide range of factors beyond standardized test scores or grades. This approach allows for a more comprehensive assessment of an applicant's potential and considers their unique circumstances, experiences, and achievements. By valuing diversity and recognizing the broader context of students' lives, institutions can create a more equitable and inclusive admissions process.


"Holistic admissions policies that include race are the best way to consider each applicant’s background and experiences, and an important tool to achieve meaningful diversity" – Teach For America

Increase Financial Aid and Scholarships:


Lastly, access to financial aid and scholarships plays a crucial role in enabling students to pursue higher education. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, it is essential to bolster financial aid programs and scholarships specifically targeted towards historically underrepresented groups. This can include establishing need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships for underrepresented students, and partnerships with organizations that support marginalized communities. By providing financial resources and reducing financial barriers, we can ensure that talented students have the means to pursue their educational aspirations.


The Journey Ahead


These are just a few examples of strategies that have the potential to counteract the absence of policies designed to make higher education more attainable for all students. It will take each and every one of us to create a more inclusive educational landscape that supports students from diverse backgrounds on their journey toward success. While the recent decision is disheartening, we have hope that we can continue building a better future for our youth despite the many obstacles that may lie ahead.

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