The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two major cases that could determine the future of race-based affirmative action in higher education across America.
While 40 years of legal precedent supports consideration of race in college admissions, a conservative advocacy group is asking the justices anew to reverse course and issue a blanket ban on the practice.
Affirmative action in college admissions is a policy of taking an individual student’s race or ethnicity into account during the selection process.
Roughly 20% of four-year public universities still consider race during the admissions process, according to a report by Ballotpedia. Many of those institutions say they consistently evaluate race-neutral alternatives but that they are largely less effective in advancing campus diversity.
Since 1996, 10 states have banned the use of race in public university admissions, including California, Michigan and Florida, according to the American Educational Research Association.