Admissions and Test Provider Organizations Join to Inform U.S. Supreme Court Arguments in SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC on Behalf of Harvard and UNC

Our nation’s leading higher education admissions and college entrance exam provider organizations (“amici”) on August 1, 2022, filed a joint brief in the SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court [the SFFA cases]. In that effort, amici have stressed the importance of this court continuing to allow admissions professionals to fully consider all factors regarding applicants’ accomplishments, aspirations, and promise—including when race has affected their self-identity and experience.

America’s higher education institutions have long recognized and cultivated the educational benefits of diversity. And for over four decades, this court has recognized the essential role that diversity serves in achieving educational missions and outcomes.

In calling for the Supreme Court to reject SFFA’s request that decades of settled Supreme Court precedent be overturned, amici explain in their brief:

  • Individualized holistic review of individual students’ applications in the higher education admissions process does not involve “racial categorization” or “stereotyping,” as SFFA maintains, but rather is reflective of a process in which all relevant factors, considered in combination, shape applicant-specific judgments about their ability to succeed, and their ability to contribute to, and benefit from, their learning environment, peers, and community;
  • Test scores and grades, alone or in combination, are single data points among many in evaluating academic readiness for success in postsecondary studies as part of a holistic admissions process. On their own, they do not represent the full measure of merit in holistic admissions; and 
  • The amici’s many thousands of members have relied for decades on the Supreme Court’s workable precedent—and they have followed and implemented that framework with fidelity. National initiatives like the College Board Access & Diversity Collaborative, in which over a dozen national organization affiliates (including NACAC and AACRAO), have for many years engaged and equipped thousands of professionals to understand and apply relevant legal rules to their institutional practices. 

Read the brief here.