ACHA’s Statement on the Recent Affirmative Action Decision by the U.S. Supreme Court

July 19, 2023

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions in its Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina decision.

Diversity on college campuses has a positive impact on the well-being of students, staff, and faculty.  As demonstrated in the ACHA report The Influence of Environmental Factors, Including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, on the Emotional Well-Being of Students, Staff, and Faculty, the perception of one’s environment is an important factor in determining emotional well-being. Specifically, this study found that institutional support for diversity is a strong predictor of emotional well-being among students, faculty, and staff within the campus community.

Affirmative action has historically been an important tool for colleges to correct inherent and historic barriers to college admissions for underrepresented populations, helping colleges diversify their student population and, by doing so, improve the success and the well-being of all students. Despite the SCOTUS ruling, ACHA supports efforts to make college campuses welcoming, equitable environments for students with diverse perspectives. We have re-affirmed our stance through recent statements as well as our organizational positions, and we will continue to work with our members and others to support and uphold campus diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts and initiatives. We assert that diversity in the classroom and across campus is a strength that enriches the higher education experience for students, and thus having a student body that is truly representative of our nation is an essential goal for both institutions and society.