HomeAbout RNLSupreme Court Ruling on Race in Admissions

RNL’s Statement Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
on the Use of Race in Admissions


RNL acknowledges that the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the consideration of race in college and university admissions will have a significant impact on higher education. This landmark decision has undoubtedly sparked important conversations about equal protection and the future of affirmative action.

RNL remains committed to fostering an environment where individuals from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to attend college and reap the benefits of a college education. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion remains unwavering, and we will help our campus partners to ensure they are able to meet their enrollment and fundraising objectives.


Understanding the Impact at the University Level

Two previous examples at the state level illustrate the potential impact of this decision at a national level.

After California’s Proposition 209 eliminated race-based affirmative action in the state’s public colleges in 1998, enrollment of students of color plummeted, especially at the system’s most selective institutions. The University of California system has spent more than a half-billion dollars on recruitment programs to stop the decline, but student diversity has continued to lag.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor told the justices last year that officials had tried a host of strategies to enroll more students of color in a race-neutral way—such as offering more financial aid for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds—with little success. (These efforts came after a state constitutional amendment in 2006.)

Reference: Brown, S., & Thomason, A. (29 June 2023). U.S. Supreme Court strikes down race-conscious admissions nationwide, The Chronicle of Higher Education.


RNL’s Support at the University Level

Determining the most suitable course of action will vary depending on each school’s unique characteristics and the student populations it serves. As RNL continues to support accessibility, equity, and diversity within higher education, a deliberate strategy of inclusion at all stages of the student lifecycle will be required, including:

  • Following an inclusive strategy to ensure a diverse pool at the top of the funnel.
  • Creating messaging around affordability and the ROI of a college education that resonates with underrepresented students and their families.
  • Promoting transparency for students with regard to scholarships and cost to attend.
  • Building communication flows that reflect diverse campus populations.
  • Identifying and developing strategies to address risk factors that prevent persistence and graduation.


Additional Resources