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Supreme Court overturns Affirmative Action: Here’s what it means for students

ORLANDO, Fla. — Colleges and universities can no longer use race as part of the admissions process after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Affirmative Action on Thursday.

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The high court ruled six to three.

Two lawsuits challenged the admissions process at North Carolina and Harvard.

Many schools outside of Florida used the practice to diversify their student populations with more Black and Hispanic students. Still, it had the unintended consequence of limiting the number of Asian students.

Some Asian American applicants to Harvard and North Carolina applauded the Supreme Court’s decision and said the policy discriminated against them.

Read: Supreme Court rejects affirmative action, limits race as factor in college admissions

“If you’re an Asian American, you had to score 273 points higher on the SAT to have the same chance of admission as a Black person to Harvard,” one student said. “Is that fair?”

The six-three ruling does not impact Florida schools, which have not used Affirmative Action for over two decades.

Instead, Florida guarantees top performers in each high school automatic admission to public universities.

Read: Advocacy group says passage of AAPI education bill is a step toward inclusion

Policy analysts said this slightly reduced the percentage of Black and Hispanic students at the state’s flagship schools.

But admissions workers and legal experts like Dr. Leroy Pernell of Florida A&M University said the court’s opinion is not so black and white.

The court allows applicants to use race when describing their history and life experiences.

Read: Florida’s private school voucher program approves more than 150K applications

“What we’re probably going to see is, in an attempt to sort of achieve racial diversity, our institutions focusing more sharply on what has specifically been your advantages or disadvantages in life,” Pernell said. “Race could be one of those things.”

Pernell said he expects the number of Black college admissions to decrease next year as schools grapple with the changes.

He said the court and the law want to be in an ideal society but are not facing the reality that race can often determine a person’s success early in life.

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