Universities Consider New Rankings To Skirt SCOTUS Ruling On Race-Based Admissions

[YouTube | Screenshot: UC Davis Health]

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Universities are considering “adversity scores” to dodge a recent ruling from the Supreme Court which blocked the use of race-based admissions policies, according to The New York Times.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s use of affirmative action admissions policies were unconstitutional. Recently, at least 20 higher education institutions have requested more information on the University of California (UC) Davis School of Medicine’s socioeconomic disadvantage scale, or S.E.D., which considers a student’s socioeconomic background, such as their parent’s income and whether they come from an underserved area, in addition to academics, according to the NYT. (RELATED: Here’s How Colleges Could Get Around The Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling)

“Those tools certainly have utility, but they fall short of accomplishing what a race-conscious admission practice does,” Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, president of the American Medical Association, told the outlet about the “adversity scores.”

The scale rates applicants from zero to 99 based on eight factors including their parents’ income, their parents’ education level and other life circumstances the student may have experienced, the NYT reported. The scale also takes into account if the applicant had to help support their family financially while growing up.

Each applicant’s “adversity score” is then weighed with their grades, essay submissions and letters of recommendation, the NYT reported.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, President Joe Biden touted such “adversity scores” as the “new standard” for higher education institutions to achieve diversity, noting that his administration would be releasing a scale for colleges to use, the NYT reported.

“The kid who faced tougher challenges has demonstrated more grit, more determination, and that should be a factor that colleges should take into account in admissions,” Biden told the reporters at the White House, according to the outlet.

In an effort to consider race, Harvard University said it will use applicants’ essays detailing how race has affected their lives in an effort to “comply with the Court’s decision.”

The Supreme Court left open ways universities could weigh race in the admissions process, such as essays that consider how skin color has impacted a student, though the UC Davis School of Medicine knows its method of “adversity scores” could be subject to litigation, the NYT reported.

“Am I worried about it? Yes,” Dr. Mark Henderson, associate dean for admissions at the UC Davis School of Medicine, told the outlet. “Is it going to stop me? No.”

UC Davis did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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