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Supreme Court to Consider Banning Race in College Admissions

  • Justices will take up cases involving Harvard, North Carolina
  • Appeals seek to overturn ruling that allows affirmative action
Pedestrians walk through Harvard Yard on Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Pedestrians walk through Harvard Yard on Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg
Updated on

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider abolishing the use of race in college admissions decisions, accepting appeals involving Harvard College and the University of North Carolina in what could be a transformational showdown for higher education.

The appeals, expected to be heard in the term that starts in October, seek to overturn decades-old Supreme Court precedents that let universities consider race to help create a diverse student body. Affirmative action is common at selective universities, though nine states including California and Florida ban race-conscious admissions at public institutions.