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Example of Affirmative Action in Admissions

Hi all, I was reading about affirmative action recently but I’m a little confused. Can anyone provide an example of how affirmative action might actually impact college admissions? Also, how does it affect us as applicants in practice, if at all?

12 days ago

Sure, happy to shed some light on the matter. Please note that as of June 2023, the Supreme Court struck down Affirmative Action, meaning colleges cannot practice race-conscious admissions anymore.

Let's talk about the concept of Affirmative Action before June 2023 for a better understanding of what it used to mean. Affirmative Action was a policy used by colleges to help underrepresented groups gain equal opportunities in higher education, therefore, colleges could consider race as one factor among many in their admissions decisions. This could, for example, mean that between two very similarly qualified candidates, a student identifying as part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group might be favored over a student from an overrepresented group.

Now, even though race-conscious admissions are no longer allowed, universities can still consider how race may have impacted a student as an individual. So, if you have faced hardships or had unique experiences as a result of your racial or ethnic background, you might be able to share those experiences in your essays. However, this will represent you as an individual who has overcome adversity, rather than you being part of a specific racial or ethnic group.

So to answer your question regarding how it affects applicants in practice now: the difference is that your race can no longer give you a suggested 'advantage' or 'disadvantage' in the admission process, but your personal experiences, including those influenced by your race, still do play a major role. Your unique perspectives, life experiences, and challenges that you have had to overcome are very important in showcasing your individuality during the application process.

Remember, colleges are still interested in fostering diverse student bodies, so showcasing your unique experiences, perspectives, and cultural heritage can still be valuable, but they will evaluate it in the context of your entire application and personal experiences rather than as part of a quota or percentage target.

12 days ago

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