On the heels of the recent Supreme Court’s recent overturning affirmative action, the University of Minnesota announced this week that it had updated its undergraduate admissions to no longer consider race and ethnicity in the application process, opting for a “holistic review” of applicants.
The statement on the U of M’s website reads, “As part of the recent Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions along with our standard annual review of undergraduate admission practice.
“The application will ask for this optional information for recruitment and communication purposes about programs and services offered. The information will not be provided to application reviewers and will not be considered at any point during the University of Minnesota admissions decision process.”
In addition to grades and standardized testing, the U of M will consider “context factors” as part of an overall assessment of each application. Some of the factors include social, economic or physical barriers to education; whether the student shoulders significant responsibility in a family, community, job, or activity; the applicant’s contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, or geographic diversity of the student body; personal or extenuating circumstances; and whether the applicant is a first-generation college student.
In addition to barring race-conscious admissions, the University of Minnesota will also no longer consider legacy admissions or employment at the university as context factors. While the Supreme Court’s ruling kept intact legacy admits, (along with athletic recruits, the children of donors, faculty members, and VIPs), legacy and donor admissions have increasingly come under fire with critics charging the preference overwhelmingly White applicants. Lawyers for Civil Rights recently filed a lawsuit against Harvard University for its acceptance of legacy admissions.