What SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action means for UL schools

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The US Supreme Court made a landmark ruling today, ending affirmative action for college admissions. University of Louisiana system president Dr. Jim Henderson said in Louisiana schools use objective admissions criteria based on high school GPA, core curriculum, and standardized test scores.

“No public institution in Louisiana is so selective that admitting one student means you denied admission to another. Its impact on us is less consequential than it will be on some of the more selective institutions across the country,” said Henderson.

The cases concerned admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The organization Students for Fair Admissions argued that Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act which bans discrimination based on race, color, or national origin. Henderson said the ruling impacts schools like Harvard and UNC because they are both highly selective institutions.

Henderson said the UL system has intentional interventions in place to ensure students succeed regardless of their background.

“That clearly fulfills what the Supreme Court is looking for and meeting the compelling state interests for Louisiana and our communities. It improves economic vitality, it improves the quality of life in our communities,” said Henderson.

And while several individuals and institutions have issued statements decrying the decision, Henderson said he understands those positions are more based on our political culture war.

“We’ve got to stand above the politics and look at the reality. Look at the specifics of what we’re doing and say does this meet the interests, does this fulfill our mission, does this serve our communities and in our state in an effective way,
Henderson said.

Nine states already ban affirmative action, Florida is the only state in the southeast that does.

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