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What we know and don't know about the future of college admissions

People walk on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill  in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
People walk on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Courtruled thatcollegescan’tconsider a person’s race in the admissions process. The decision struck downwhat we know asaffirmative action,whichhas expanded educational access to people of color since the 1960s.

While the court decided that affirmative action goes against everyone’s Constitutional right to equal treatment regardless of race, higher education journalist Jeff Selingo said the court might not understand the full scope of how colleges select individual students to form their ideal student body.

“We tend to think of admissions as this meritocracy, that it is based on merit,” said Selingo on the PBS Newshour. “But it never has been one, and it probably never will be…sometimes, students are accepted because they’re from the right state in many cases, or they might be a full-pay student, or they might be the third baseman for the baseball team. So we shouldn’t think of the meritocracy of admissions as this pure thing.”

We ask how college admissions officers are, and how they should be, judging applicants.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

June Leffler