Court allows UNC to keep using race as admissions factor

A U.S. district court judge has ruled that UNC may continue to consider race in admissions. Students for Fair Admissions plans to appeal the ruling.

The University of North Carolina will continue to be permitted to use race as a factor in college admissions, following a court ruling denying a challenge to the admissions process that alleged the consideration of race is discriminatory. 

Judge Loretta C. Biggs of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued the ruling on Oct. 18 Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) had brought the lawsuit in 2014 and had argued that UNC was discriminating against white applicants in the way it looked at race during the admissions process. 

The university’s 2005 diversity plan aimed for “critical masses of underrepresented populations,” and SFFA contended that the university never defined what a “critical mass” would be or assessed if it had achieved “critical mass.” However, the Court found that “critical mass” referred to the educational benefits of a diverse student body, not a quota for how many students of particular races should be admitted.


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