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ACT Statement on the Use of Race in College Admissions

ACT shares the disappointment of many in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina cases, which strike down the use of race as a factor in college admissions. In our joint amicus brief submitted to the Court, ACT reiterated our long-held belief that individualized holistic review of individual students’ applications in the higher education admission process does not involve “racial categorization” or “stereotyping,” as SFFA maintains, but rather is reflective of a process in which all relevant factors, considered in combination, shape applicant-specific judgments about their ability to succeed, and their ability to contribute to, and benefit from, their learning environment, peers, and community.

Also noted in ACT’s brief:

“Academic judgments inherent in higher-education admissions involve considerations of numerous factors regarding student applicants, which, in combination, are essential to the formation of classes in which students will expand their horizons, have their world views sharpened and challenged by exposure to other viewpoints and experiences, and prepare for productive and engaging lives. In a society where race still matters, an applicant’s life experiences directly associated with their race and ethnicity constitute one part — and often an inextricable and influential part — of their self-identity and context.”

America’s higher education institutions have long recognized and cultivated the educational benefits of diversity, and ACT stands at the ready to work alongside higher education to address the implications of the Court’s decision as we work to preserve learning diversity in support of the students we all serve.