Presidential Reactions to the Supreme Court Decision on Admissions Vary by Region and Institution Type

November 13, 2023

Share this

Title: The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action: A Survey of College Presidents

Source: Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research

After the Supreme Court’s ruling on the consideration of race in postsecondary admissions, Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research partnered to survey presidents and understand their opinions on the ruling and its implications on admissions.

Survey results revealed that presidents are against the ruling and not optimistic about the use of race-neutral policies to boost diversity. In contrast, a significant majority of presidents responded that their own institution will maintain its current level of diversity under the ruling.

Other key findings include:

  • Overall, a majority (68 percent) of presidents oppose the recent decision, and 59 percent believe fewer minority students will be admitted to competitive institutions as a result. However, only seven percent believe the decision will result in a change to their institution’s admissions policies. Presidents from private nonprofit baccalaureate institutions were the most likely to indicate that their institutions’ admissions policies will change because of the decision.
  • By sector, public doctorate-granting institutions were the most likely (94 percent) to respond that the current level of diversity will be maintained under the decision. Presidents from private, nonprofit baccalaureate institutions were the least likely to respond the same, but still over three quarters (78 percent) of them indicated they do not foresee diversity levels changing.
  • About a third (37 percent) of presidents indicated that their institution has financial aid awarded based on race or ethnicity. Of those respondents, over half (54 percent) do not anticipate ending their program, and over a quarter (28 percent) were unsure of their program’s future.
  • Presidents from private nonprofit schools are more optimistic about the use of essay questions to bolster diversity. While 52 percent of presidents from public master’s and baccalaureate institutions indicated they are moderately optimistic about essay questions, only 22 percent of public associate degree-granting institution leaders responded the same.
  • Views on the higher education sector’s planning for the decision differ regionally, though less than a fifth (18 percent) of all presidents thought the sector planned properly. More presidents in the Northeast (42 percent) indicated that the higher education sector planned properly for the ruling than presidents in other regions (11 percent in the Midwest, 11 percent in the South, and 7 percent in the West).

To read the full report, click here.

—Erica Swirsky

If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please contact us.

Keep Reading

The Harvard Admissions Case: Reactions to the Judge's Ruling

ACE Vice President and General Counsel Peter G. McDonough talks with four experts on diversity in admissions policy about the recent district court decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard.

October 11, 2019

We Are All Complicit in the College Admissions Scandal

In wake of the recent college admissions scandal, former Tulane President Scott Cowen writes that it’s time to own up to our mistakes, close admissions loopholes, and rethink what it means to be elite.

April 8, 2019

Presidential Leadership Is Key to the Development of New Faculty Models

Among the many challenges college and university presidents face, the need to address contingent faculty roles and related work policies is among the most pressing, according to Adrianna Kezar and Daniel Scott of the University of Southern California.

April 18, 2018