Complying with Students for Fair Admissions: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue Joint Guidance for Institutions

On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly issued guidance to help postsecondary schools comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina et al. (together, SFFA). The SFFA decision held that race-conscious admissions policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the departments’ guidance provides institutions with suggested approaches for supporting student body diversity, it also leaves open other important questions, including the funding and use of race-conscious scholarships and other financial assistance.

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