Education

What The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Affirmative Action Means For Students of Color

supreme court ruling on affirmative action

The supreme court rulings on affirmative action have created a lot of mixed emotions.

The decision hits differently for students of color that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

If you’re a college-bound high school student or someone looking to go back to school who could benefit from race-conscious admissions practices. 

You’re likely questioning your future. But don’t… 

In this article, we’ll ensure you understand how to succeed and stand out during the college admissions process with or without affirmative action. 

What You Should Know About The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Affirmative Action

On June 29, 2023, the US Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action made it unlawful for colleges to take race into consideration as a specific factor in admissions.

The ruling means that admissions programs are no longer allowed to use race-conscious admissions practices in higher education. 

What the SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action Means for Students Of Color

The Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action means that students of color that come from underprivileged backgrounds will need to explore new ways to close opportunity gaps and get accepted into college. 

Here are some steps you can take as a future application of color:

1.  Find opportunities to even the playing field

Let’s be honest, we don’t all start on the same chapter in life. It isn’t fair but it’s the reality.

If you come from an underprivileged background, understand that you have some catching up to do before applying to colleges. 

First, find a mentor or guidance counselor that can help you with your college application process.

If your grades need improvement, work with a tutor asap to address your learning gaps.

Next, apply for college-bound or college-readiness programs.

There are many organizations that offer college readiness programs for low-income students.

Understand that you’ll need to hustle to even the playing field when it comes to college applications. Don’t go at it alone. 

There are many resources out there, including NetWerk that can help guide you on your journey to a brighter future. 

2. Package your personal brand in a way that college admissions can’t resist 

Your personal brand will now be more important than ever when applying to schools.

Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t have the highest grades. 

Your branding and leadership can help make up for what your GPA lacks.

When considering how to package your personal brand for a college application, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I known for in my community?
  • What’s unique about me compared to other applicants?
  • What can I bring to their campus that’s likely missing?

Get creative on how to package yourself. Think beyond your racial identity. 

And consider your core contributions to the community, your school, or a specific cause.

3. Build A Network Beyond Your School

Becoming successful isn’t always about where you go to school.

If you’re not accepted into your top university.

You can still build your network at your dream schools. 

You can do this by attending alumni events, going to conferences at top-tier colleges, and participating in campus events open to the public. 

Here are more ways to build a high-value network and key networking etiquette to help you get ahead!

4. Continue To Highlight Your Racial Identity Anyways 

Just because colleges can’t take race into consideration to make admission decisions, doesn’t mean you can’t highlight your racial identity and how it’s shaped your future plans. 

The key is to keep the focus on your greater purpose and professional goals, not race.

Here’s an example:

If your family immigrated from Sudan and your intended major is Education. 

In your college application, you can highlight how coming from Sudan has shaped your desire to create a state-wide learning curriculum inclusive to ESL (English as a second language) students. 

Rather than focusing on being from Sudan, focus on your goals as a result of your background. 

This is how to use your racial identity to stand out and demonstrate leadership.

Moving Forward Without Affirmative Action Programs

The end of race-conscious admissions isn’t the end of diversity on college and university campuses. It just may look a little different. 

It’ll require you to be creative on how to put your best foot forward as a future applicant of color.

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Over To You

In what other ways can students of color stand out during the college admissions process?

Let us know in the comments @netwerkmovement.   

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