8 months ago
Admissions Advice

Affirmative Action Ruling: What to Expect

On June 29, 2023, the US Supreme Court struck down the use of race in admissions, deeming it unconstitutional. This ruling significantly impacts students of color and their chances of acceptance into college.

Here are the main changes you can expect, as well as what you can do as a student of color to optimize your college chances despite the ruling.

- What Does This Mean for Your Chances? -

The end of affirmative action action is going to have the biggest impact on students of color, especially Black, Hispanic, and Native American students.

Among students of color, Black students will see the biggest drop in acceptance chances, Hispanic and Native American students will be moderately impacted, and multi-racial students will see a smaller drop.

On the flip side, Asian students will see a small boost. White students will also see a boost, but it will be even smaller, and not very significant.

Keep in mind that admissions chances will not change at public colleges in the nine states that had banned affirmative action prior to the Supreme Court decision. These states include: California, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Idaho. Chances will change, however, at private colleges in these states.

EDIT: Our chancing model didn't previously account for Affirmative Action bans in states outside of California. So, your chances on CollegeVine should change in these states after our model update.

- How to Optimize Your Chances Despite the End of Affirmative Action -

While acceptance rates for most students of color will drop, there are a few things you can do to optimize your chances. They include:

1. Re-evaluate your chances and make sure to add 2-3 more safeties.

Our chancing engine will be adjusted in the next couple weeks for this change in admissions policy, so you may see your chances drop at certain schools. Some of your schools may be recategorized in terms of safeties, target, and reaches.

To solidify your chances, make sure to add at least 2-3 more safety schools, for a total of 4-5 safeties, 4 targets, and 2 reaches.

2. Seek out colleges that you’ll definitely be able to afford.

Because it will become increasingly difficult to get into the most selective colleges with generous financial aid, underrepresented students of color on financial aid will need to prioritize affordable options even more than in typical years.

Make sure to use each school’s net price calculator to understand the approximate cost for your family after financial aid. Local state schools and community colleges are often the most affordable, but you may also be able to get significant merit aid at private colleges where your profile is especially strong.

3. Consider applying test-optional.

Because admissions chances are dropping for most students of color, it’s important to optimize your chances and take advantage of test-optional policies.

Whether you should submit or not depends on your score and the individual schools you’re applying to. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but our data suggests that at less selective colleges, a student should only submit a test score if their SAT or ACT is at or above the 50th percentile. At more selective colleges, a good guideline is the 75th percentile score.

4. Ask your counselor to provide more contextual information in your rec letter.

If you have any family or home circumstances, or if there are academic and extracurricular limitations at your school, you can ask your counselor to note those in your rec letter.

You’re also able to point these out yourself in the Additional Information section of the Common App.

Looking for more advice on affirmative action? Read our full blog post for more info: https://blog.collegevine.com/end-of-affirmative-action

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7 months ago[edited]



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