Americans Oppose Affirmative Action in College Admission Decisions

Americans support diversity on campus but oppose colleges using race as a factor when deciding whom to admit. 

WHY IT MATTERS – The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on a case brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina that could end affirmative action in higher education. 

IN CONTEXT – In 2003, The Supreme Court ruled that colleges may consider race in admissions to help diversify their student enrollment.  

  • Hundreds of schools’ future admissions plans are hanging in the balance as they have relied on court precedent for decades to achieve the educational benefits of student body diversity.  

BY THE NUMBERS – A Reuters/Ipsos poll found: 

  • 62 percent of Americans oppose higher education institutions using race as a factor when deciding whom to admit. 
  • 52 percent of minority respondents surveyed said they opposed using race as a factor. 

BOTTOM LINE – Most Americans value diversity but don’t want it to come at the expense of equal treatment.  


The Center Square – Poll: Americans oppose race as a factor in college admission decisions 

Pew Research Center – Most Americans say colleges should not consider race or ethnicity in admissions