ACPA College Student Educators International vehemently opposes the U.S. Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina.

As an Association, we are disappointed with the Court’s decision against Affirmative Action. The decision determined that the Harvard University and University of North Carolina policies violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and  exceeded the limitations based on previous Supreme Court rulings. 

ACPA’s values are rooted in diversity and inclusion, as exemplified through our Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization.  We are committed to supporting our members in ensuring that we continue to create diverse, accessible and supportive campus communities. We continue to believe in the value of Affirmative Action.

As seen in U.S. states that banned affirmative action such as California in 1996 (Card & Krieger, 2005; Kaufman, 2007) and Michigan in 2006 (Long & Bateman, 2020), the results of these bans on affirmative action led to the lower participation and enrollment of students of color compared to the period before the bans. We remain concerned about college access as highlighted in our position statement on Affordability and Accessibility.

In light of the current attacks against diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) curriculum, practices, positions, and policies around the United States, this Supreme Court ruling further erodes and complicates the situation. We must remain vigilant and prepared to defend the importance of diversity as essential in our work, and how inclusion and racial diversity makes our college communities stronger.

We encourage our members to continue their engagement with their respective higher education institutions to understand how their institution intends to respond to the decision. This engagement can include reaching out to your enrollment officers, senior diversity officers, and institutional leadership. The task will be difficult but we should be creative in identifying potential solutions to ensure that diversity remains prominent in our support of students, faculty and staff.

Supreme Court decisions can be difficult to understand but we encourage ACPA members to review the decision in full as well as credible articles and summations.

In solidarity,

Heather Shea, Ph.D., 2023-24 ACPA President
Chris Moody, Ed.D., ACPA Executive Director
ACPA External Relations Advisory Board


Card, D., & Krueger, A. B. (2005). Would the elimination of affirmative action affect highly qualified minority applicants? Evidence from California and Texas. ILR Review, 58(3), 416-434.

Kaufmann, S. W. (2007). The history and impact of state initiatives to eliminate affirmative action.

Long, M. C., & Bateman, N. A. (2020). Long-run changes in underrepresentation after affirmative action bans in public universities. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 42(2), 188-207.

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