When Affirmative Action is Banned, Minority Applicants to College Have a Harder Time – Even in Neighboring States

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Scholars Strategy Network


The consideration of race as one factor in college admissions was once legally acceptable all over the United States – as codified in the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the 1978 Bakke case. Over the last fifteen years, however, statewide bans and patchwork judicial rulings have banned affirmative action in some states, while allowing a limited version to continue in others. Researchers have looked at the impact of banning affirmative action on college admissions for particular states or universities. But, the authors are the first to analyze the effects nationwide. The bans do matter, they find, influencing institutional practices and making admission to selective public universities harder not only for minority students applying in states where preferences have been ruled out, but also for those applying from neighboring states.



affirmative action programs, minority groups, Latin American students, Hispanic students, African American students, social inequality