The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling which struck down affirmative action in college admissions is spurring one of the defendants in the ruling, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, to find a way to make college admissions race-neutral.
Its decision was to cover tuition and fees for in-state students whose families earn an annual income under $80,000. According to Higher Ed Dive, the decision will start covering these students in 2024.
The university’s chancellor, Kevin Guskiewicz, announced that Court’s ruling pushed the university to hire more admissions staff to work “in under-resourced communities to spread awareness of our affordability and recruit students from across the state.” The chancellor said, “We want the best students to know that a UNC-Chapel Hill education is a possibility for them.”
But the interesting question is whether the university’s decision will affect a significant number of students, which number was not shared by Guskiewicz. One estimate from Higher Ed Dive was that the number could be as low as 882 students, based on Pell Grant recipients at UNC-Chapel Hill in the 2021-2022 academic year. The university typically enrolls around 19,000 undergraduate students per year.
The flagship university’s plan may be followed by other universities, considering that these higher education institutions can no longer use racial preferences in college admissions.