Goodbye, Affirmative Action?

A Supreme Court case has colleges considering how to stay diverse if race-based admissions is axed

Eliminating affirmative action forces universities to be more resourceful in getting the students they want. In fact, a few of the universities Kahlenberg studied—UC, Texas A&M, and the University of Georgia—discontinued legacy preferences along with racial preferences. Kahlenberg says that was a positive effect of the ban on race-conscious admissions and that more universities should do the same.

Still, the most qualified minority candidates admitted to the top schools via affirmative action would be most impacted.

If affirmative action is struck down, Orfield worries, and class-based affirmative action becomes the rule, it will be these middle- and upper-class students admitted to top universities under the policy who will lose.

One of these pencils is not like the others.
Petro Perutskyy
One of these pencils is not like the others.

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"The top schools in this country produce a disproportionate number of our leaders," Orfield says. "Where you go to school matters a lot."

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