In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that bars colleges and universities from using affirmative action in admissions decisions, some institutions of higher learning are already starting to eliminate scholarships they had set up for minority groups.
The Supreme Court ruling that was handed down last week didn’t at all address whether scholarships that are only offered to students belonging to a minority group are legal or not. However, with the uncertainty about these scholarships in question, two major universities announced this week that they planned to abandon the practice of awarding financial aid based on race.
Those two schools are the University of Kentucky as well as the University of Missouri system.
Last Thursday – on the same day that the high court decision was revealed – the University of Missouri system released a statement saying that every university within the state would do away with scholarships that take ethnicity or race into consideration when awarding the funds.
As the statement says:
“As allowed by prior law, a small number of our programs and scholarships have used race/ethnicity as a factor for admissions and scholarships. Those practices will be discontinued, and we will abide by the new Supreme Court ruling concerning legal standards that applies to race-based admissions and race-based scholarships.”
On June 29, Andrew Bailey, the attorney general of Missouri, sent a letter to all of the state’s universities telling them that they needed to end all policies that utilize “race-based standards.”
That same day, he sent a tweet to announce this position publicly. That tweet read:
“SCOTUS has struck down affirmative action. I have put dozens of universities and municipalities across the state on notice to immediately cease any use of illegal, discriminatory race-based policies.”
A statement from the University of Kentucky also came out last Thursday, announcing that they would also be complying with the ruling from the Supreme Court, meaning they wouldn’t consider an applicant’s race when deciding to award scholarships.
In that statement, Eli Capilouto, the university’s president, said:
“We are still reviewing the details of the ruling, but, based on our initial understanding, it appears that the court has restricted the consideration of race with respect to admissions and scholarships.
“We will continue to review this decision as we prepare to fully comply with the law as described in today’s rulings.”
Wisconsin’s state Assembly speaker, Republican Robin Vos, also said that his state may eliminate scholarships for minorities at all public universities, which would be done by repealing the state laws that allow them.
He tweeted last week:
“We are reviewing the decision and will introduce legislation to correct the discriminator laws on the books and pass repeals in the fall.”
These three states are all heavily Republican. University and college systems in other states, particularly those run by Democrats, are likely to take slightly different approaches to scholarships that are offered to minority students.
No matter what, though, every university and college in every state must no longer use race as a factor in admissions.