Last week, the Supreme Court ruled, by a vote of 4-3, in the case of Fisher v. Texas to uphold the value of creating a diverse student body allowing university officials to consider race among many factors in making holistic admission decisions. In essence, this decision justly allows universities to thoughtfully pursue race conscious admissions programs in order to create diverse, dynamic student populations to enrich classroom discussion, student networks, and overall educational experiences.

CAA strongly supports this decision that reaffirms the need for race conscious policies because it recognizes the reality that race, ethnicity and identity are part of someone’s rich narrative experience. As a society, we must also recognize that under our current public education system, GPA, SAT scores, and other standard measures of merit are subject to social influences such as wealth, access to resources, race, class, gender, etc.

“It is important to remember that in thinking about race conscious policies, the key function of an admissions committee is to measure the future potential of a student applicant and therefore it can’t ignore the fact that merit alone in the absence of understanding social contextual factors is problematic,” states Cynthia Choi, Acting Executive Director of CAA.

“Despite the ‘model minority myth’ many in our Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and
Southeast Asian communities continue to face significant barriers to higher education. Universities and college admissions programs that consider racial diversity help to reduce these barriers and create opportunities for all underrepresented communities.” asserts Santosh Seeram, Legislative Director of CAA.

Race conscious admissions can look at the individual circumstances of these candidates and contextualize their future potential to succeed and this would greatly benefit API community members underrepresented in higher education.