On October 31, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases about the consideration of race in college admissions: SFFA v. UNC and SFFA v. Harvard. These two cases were heard separately over the course of the day. We expect the Court’s decision by June 2023 and audio recordings for both the UNC and Harvard cases are now available on the Court’s website.
Regardless of your current planning stage, you can prepare now by reviewing the Access and Diversity Collaborative’s Action Guide for Higher Education. The Guide summarizes key conversations held in the summer and fall of 2022 to discuss ADC sponsors’ preparations for the decision and outlines strategies to take proactive steps to prepare for an array of possible outcomes.
In collaboration with AACRAO, ACT, and NACAC, College Board also submitted an amicus brief for the cases in 2022.
Read our full public statement.
The U.S. Supreme Court case on the use of race in admissions is unfolding. Get the information, key resources, materials, and event details you need from the Access and Diversity Collaborative to make strategic decisions and prepare for the Court’s decision.
Start Here: Get Briefed
Need to become up to speed on the case and its implications for your campus? Prepare for the 2023 decision right now following the ADC’s Key Action Guide for Every Institution. Learn more.
Join Us: Webinars and Events
Learn with your peers. Get up-to-the-minute information on the ruling at our webinars and upcoming events. Browse events and recorded sessions.
Take Action: Key Resources
Prepare your campus by using the materials and publications to examine and review your admissions policies. Explore resources.
Go Deeper: Court Cases and Analyses
Need deeper analysis? Review our issue and case briefs related to access and diversity. See key cases.
This fall the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two federal cases on the use of race in admissions. The combined cases may have significant impact on the way all colleges and universities use race in their admissions practices.
Prepare for the 2023 decision right now following the ADC’s Action Guide for Higher Education:
Policy and Practice
Establish a leadership team tasked with guiding all institutional plans regarding possible Court outcomes and addressing these issues:
- Vision, direction, and action planning
- Impact and investment
- Communications and stakeholder engagement
Establish a baseline by documenting a full inventory of all relevant policies and program descriptions associated with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):
- Focus on policies and programs conscious of race, ethnicity, sex, and gender.
- Review each program or policy and consider adding/strengthening race-neutral strategies. Measure and evaluate their efficacy.
- Implement the above steps to help streamline evaluations in light of any consequential Court action.
Communications and Leadership
- Apply a comprehensive DEI lens throughout the institution, including cross-campus functions and departments. (Success, in the end, isn’t just about admissions.)
- Evaluate how your institution can continually improve, focusing on, among other things, strategic plans and progress benchmarks.
- Develop plans and preliminary drafts regarding communications to campus stakeholders in the wake of the anticipated Court decision.
- Generate messaging that shows you continue to be committed to and invested in DEI initiatives that are unlikely to be affected by any Court ruling.
Getting More Info
Keep reading below to get the information, timely updates, and in-depth resources you need to examine your policies.
Join Us: Webinars and Events
Our webinars and events combine expert analysis with hands-on best practices and discussions from leaders in the field of diversity and admissions. Learn more about the case, issues, and implications by reviewing one of our prerecorded webinars:
Webinar 1: Navigating in Times of Change and Challenge: Reflections and Guidance on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Consideration of SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC
Review this recorded session from April 2022 for timely analysis on the case, as well as practical, hands-on recommendations from enrollment leaders. To access this presentation, use the passcode: access2022!
Webinar 2: Navigating in Times of Challenge: Fundamentals on Policy and Practice Associated with Race and Ethnicity in Admissions
Review this recorded session from June 2022 to learn additional specific, race-neutral enrollment management strategies in advance of the major U.S. Supreme Court action expected this fall and next year. Legal, policy, and practice professionals share their expertise and guidance, including how to leverage College Board's Landscape® tool in the context of the broader legal environment. passcode: access2022!
Webinar 3: Navigating in Times of Challenge: Reflecting on Oral Arguments and Getting Ready
Review this recorded session from December 2022 to hear from experts who unpack the fall oral arguments—highlighting surprises and key points that could shape the Court’s final decisions. You will also get a recommended framework, suggested strategies, and a timeline for immediate action based on a range of possible outcomes. To access the recording, use this passcode: access2022!
Take Action with Key Resources for Higher Education
These materials and publications can support your work as you prepare for the Supreme Court’s decision by examining policies or moving toward race-neutral admission policies.
- Publication: ADC’s Action Guide for Higher Education
This guide summarizes key conversations held in the summer and fall of 2022 to discuss ADC sponsors’ preparations for the decision and outlines strategies to take proactive steps to prepare for an array of possible outcomes.
- PDF: ADC’s Key Action Guide for Every Institution
This PDF presentation provides basics and concepts that you can use with your colleagues and on issues related to student diversity and admissions. It is meant as a companion piece to the guide Engaging Campus Stakeholders on Enrollment Issues.
- Presentation: Understanding Race Neutral Strategies
This PDF outlines the key actions every institution can take right now to prepare for the Supreme Court’s ruling. It includes actions around policy, practice, communications, and leadership.
- Publication: Engaging Campus Stakeholders on Enrollment Issues Associated with Student Diversity
This guide helps campus leaders as they engage with colleagues and their communities on issues associated with student diversity and admissions.
- Publication: The Playbook: Understanding the Role of Race Neutral Strategies in Advancing Higher Education Diversity, 2nd Edition
This practical guide provides an overview of race- and ethnicity-neutral strategies and “plays” that can advance institutional diversity interests.
Go Deeper with Case Documents and Materials
Get a better understanding of this issue and the case history more deeply with our analyses and guidance on court cases related to access and diversity:
- Listen to the oral arguments from SFFA v. Harvard
- Listen to the oral arguments from SFFA v. UNC
- Read our amicus brief on the SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC cases
- Read our full public statement on the amicus brief
- Brief on SCOTUS taking UNC and Harvard Cases
- SFFA v. UNC Court Summary
- Harvard District Court Summary
- Fisher II: Fisher v. University of Texas 2016
- Fisher I: Fisher v. University of Texas 2013
- Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education
- Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
- Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger
- Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action et al. v. Regents of the University of Michigan et al.
About the ADC
College Board’s Access and Diversity Collaborative (ADC) provides the information and tools that higher education institutions need to develop and implement policies and practices for educational access and diversity. We’re a cross-disciplinary group of education professionals and organizations dedicated to upholding the principles of equitable access to higher education and promoting diversity on campus. Learn more about the ADC.