On June 29th, 2023, the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in college admissions, ruling that race cannot be used as a factor in determining admission. Rebecca Davis, owner of Cultivate Academics, recently sat down with KTNV Channel 13 Action News to discuss how this decision affects college admissions as institutions must now rely on other factors, such as socioeconomic background or individual achievements, to ensure diversity in student populations.
Maintaining a diverse student population is a top priority for most universities when it comes to the recruitment process. For decades, schools have pushed to recruit students from different demographics. Usually, the application process made it easy for colleges to identify this information. However, the Supreme Court recently ruled to end affirmative action. Now universities may no longer use an applicant’s race as a basis for admission. This ruling doesn’t change the fact that colleges want an assortment of students from different backgrounds, and it’s still possible to express your personal identity and values during the application process.
It was common practice for colleges to include checkboxes on their applications that requested students to identify their race. Colleges used this data to track which demographics were in the application and admittance pool. Many schools used this information to maintain certain percentages of racial groups accepted per year in order to achieve an even ratio of diversity in the student population. With the new Supreme Court ruling, schools may no longer have access to this data during admission season in the effort to avoid giving certain racial groups advantages or disadvantages in the admissions process. This doesn’t change the fact that colleges are still committed to diversity and want to recruit, admit, and enroll the most diverse student body that they can (1).
That being said, how are colleges now identifying diversity? It is likely that colleges will encourage students to reflect upon their personal background and heritage in the essay portion of their application. Students are free to report culturally centered activities, experiences, and anecdotes that can give schools a better picture of their personal identity (1). Students from underrepresented backgrounds should express themselves fully and share their relevant life experiences in their essays. Since colleges will still be prioritizing a diverse student population, reflect and share your perspective and individual voice. Think about how you can set yourself apart and bring a unique and valuable asset to the university you are applying to.
Race is an identifier when it comes to recruiting a diverse student population, but there are other aspects of individuality and unique populations. Reflect upon your geographic identity, socioeconomic background, and the educational experience of your parents or family. Do you have a special perspective that differs from the typical student population? Perhaps there are other identifiers that are worth sharing. Think about your distinctive lived experiences and share them. Express your viewpoint and explain why it shaped you into the person you are today. Colleges want to hear about individuality and recruit students with unique backgrounds. What are things that set you apart? How can you contribute to a diverse college environment? Application season is just around the corner, so meet with your Cultivate Coach and strategize about how to stand out and express your voice this application season.