Today the United States Supreme Court affirmed long-standing precedent in upholding the right of universities to consider race as part of their holistic review admission processes for applicants for college admission. The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) applauds the Court's ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which reaffirms that diversity is a compelling educational interest that can justify limited race-conscious practices. Today's decision enables public and private institutions of higher education to adopt admissions policies that advance America's commitment to educational opportunity for all, by assembling classes of students that reflect the diversity that is a hallmark of our national strength.
This decision comes at a time when the importance of having a postsecondary degree is clear. In today's global economy, far too many students of color lack the opportunity to access or complete a college education. In fact, African-American and Latino students make up a meager 14 percent of the student body at America's 468 most selective institutions. Categorical prohibitions against "race-conscious policies" undermine important academic freedoms and our ability to create campuses that bring together a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives that serve to enhance the education of all students during and after the collegiate experience.
The Supreme Court's decision provides new clarifying guidance that adds more detail to inform institutions' policies and practices moving forward. Most importantly, the decision reaffirms the importance of policies that open doors for students, especially ones that can yield talent and leadership that more accurately reflects our 21st century world.