3 Questions About How the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling Could Affect Minority Scholarships

Students at the University of California, Berkeley

Students walk through Sproul Plaza on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. (Eric Risberg/AP/File)

Following last week’s landmark Supreme Court affirmative action ruling, which barred colleges from considering race as a specific factor in admissions, Republican officials in some states have sought to weed out others. higher education programs benefiting students of color.

After the decision was announced on Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey called on colleges and universities in the state to “immediately cease their practice of using racially-based standards to make decisions about things.” such as admission, scholarships, programs and employment”.

Hours later, the University of Missouri, which has 70,000 students across four campuses, announced it would stop issuing race-based financial aid programs, citing Bailey’s order.

And in Wisconsin, State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, indicated race-focused grants and scholarships would be on the chopping block this fall.

To help understand what the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling could mean for race-focused scholarships and financial aid, Yahoo News asked Karen McCarthy, vice president of public policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), 3 big questions. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

1. Does the Supreme Court decision mention scholarships and financial aid for minority students?

Karen McCarthy: The Supreme Court’s decision focused exclusively on admissions policies, not financial aid.

2. What type of advice have you given to schools that have requested NASFAA assistance?

This is not a problem that affects all colleges, as not all colleges have their own institutional aid to assign to get started. And some don’t take race into consideration at all. Those who think it might end up affecting them are paying attention and following the conversation closely as it develops. We told them to consult with their school’s attorneys, seek any upcoming guidance that may come from the Department of Education, and follow any mandate that may come from your attorney general. Schools are mostly in wait-and-see mode.

3. What is your reaction when the Missouri Attorney General orders colleges in his state to ban race-based scholarships?

The Supreme Court has taken months to rule on admissions, and I think considerations in the area of ​​financial aid should also be as deliberate and thoughtful. So we would have liked to see a less reactive response, as there are many ways for institutions to consider race, and we think this was quite a reactive decision that may not take into account all the nuances.

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