What’s going on:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month against affirmative action, a university recruitment policy that helped marginalized applicants to combat discrimination. Now experts like Katherine Meyer, a fellow at Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education, and Miguel M. Unzueta, a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, predict that the new admission policies will significantly impact the admission rates of Black and Latino students at top universities across the U.S. — potentially altering career trajectories and earnings in these demographics, according to BBC.
One case study cited by Unzueta was on admission data at UCLA after California previously banned affirmative action policy in 1996. The study shows how the percentages of Black and Latino students dropping significantly, according to NPR. The data showed that out of the nearly 5,000 students in the freshman class of 2006, only 96 were African American.
Additionally, there’s growing scrutiny of “legacy” admissions, where preference is given to applicants who are relatives of alumni or donors. Some universities, like Wesleyan University, have voluntarily chosen to eliminate this policy.
Both of these changes are likely to affect the racial and class diversity of student bodies and, subsequently, demographics in the workforce.
Why it matters:
The Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action could particularly impact underrepresented minority students aiming for careers in high-paying fields like finance, consulting, and technology. In fact, last year, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Meta Platforms Inc. and Apple Inc. were among nearly 80 companies that filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the universities’ affirmative action program. The brief argued that the ruling would impact their pipeline of highly qualified workers and business leaders.
How it’ll impact the future:
The recent policy changes could lead to less diversity at more corporate-level jobs, and they may affect future earning potential for certain demographics. Additionally, these admission policy changes have the potential to diminish diverse representation in competitive, high-paying fields like finance, consulting, and STEM in the long term.