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Statement by Achieving the Dream on U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

News & Updates
June 29, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in higher education is a step in the wrong direction for our students, our colleges and universities, and our nation. The Court’s decision in the Students for Fair Admissions cases will set back efforts to have our nation’s colleges and universities more accurately reflect the diverse nation they serve by eliminating race as a factor in admissions decisions at selective institutions and will have a chilling effect on the diversity of our higher education system, including the nation’s 1,200 community colleges. 

This decision wrongfully overturns the longstanding understanding, upheld by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas — and reaffirmed by the lower courts — that diversity is a “compelling governmental interest” that supports the consideration of race as a contributing factor in college admissions. While our institutions have continued to make progress in supporting racially minoritized students, there is significant evidence that we have not reached the point where considering race as a contributing factor is no longer needed. Rather, as the University of California and University of Michigan have demonstrated, the loss of affirmative action has been severely detrimental to the diversity of their student populations. 

At a moment when our students and our nation are becoming more diverse and the need for more workers with a college credential is increasing, we should be working to put more racially minoritized students on the pathway to a postsecondary credential, a family-sustaining wage, and a successful career. 

Achieving the Dream is committed to continuing to work with our Network of colleges, and higher education in general, to make access to and success through higher education, from dual enrollment to credential attainment through transfer and bachelor’s degree attainment, more equitable. We firmly believe, as outlined in our organization’s equity statement, that when colleges intentionally design and implement antiracist and just structures, policies, and practices that combat oppression, students and their communities thrive. 

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