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Major research associations submit Supreme Court amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions practices

High Council

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The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and six other leading research associations have a amicus short to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of closely tailored race-conscious admissions practices at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. AERA affiliated with the American Anthropological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the Linguistic Society of America.

This fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina, et al. the universities could set aside decades of legal precedent in support of the right of higher education institutions to take into account the diversity of student organizations when making their admission decisions.

“It is critical, as the court considers these cases, to rely on a substantial body of high-quality, rigorous research and an impressive scientific consensus,” said AERA Director Felice J. Levine. “The investigation is clear: It is in the best interests of students and the nation for the court to reaffirm the imperative government interest in diversity of student organizations and affirm the lower court rulings upholding the admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.”

In 2003, the Supreme Court cited key studies when it ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger that promoting diversity in student organizations is a compelling interest that can justify racially conscious admissions policies. The scientific literature supporting the interest in diversity was well established almost two decades ago and has expanded even more since Grutter.

This research shows that student diversity leads to important educational benefits, including improvements in intergroup contact and increased interracial interaction between students; reduction of prejudice; improvements in cognitive skills, critical thinking and self-confidence; greater social involvement; and improving the skills needed for professional development and leadership.

Research also supports the argument that the admissions policies typified by the Harvard and University of North Carolina programs are closely aligned with student organizations’ interest in diversity, consistent with the standards established in the Grutter and Fisher cases of the Supreme Court. Evidence shows that both Harvard and the University of North Carolina have engaged in extensive analyzes and reviews of their admissions policies, as well as alternatives to breed-conscious admissions, and linked these analyzes to meeting Grutter and Fisher standards.


Diversity semantics shifts higher ed inclusivity away from students of color


Provided by the American Educational Research Association

Quote: Major research associations file a Supreme Court amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions practices (2022, Aug. 2), retrieved Aug. 2, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-major-associations-submit-supreme- court.html

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