In its landmark 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger decisions, the Supreme Court affirmed that it is within a state’s compelling interest to ensure adequate representation of diversity in an institution of postsecondary education and therefore ruled that race may be used as one factor among many in making admission decisions. A number of states, alternatively, have adopted legislation barring public institutions from considering race in admission, leading, in some cases, to the development of alternative “race-neutral” approaches including percentage plans and minority recruitment efforts. Regardless of the chosen policy, NACAC recognizes, and seeks to educate policymakers on, the substantial benefits derived from a diverse student body and the complexity of the admission process.
NACAC Resources - Federal Resources - Other Resources -
Key Court Cases - Race Neutral Mandates
- NACAC's Myth vs. Fact sheet on diversity in higher education dispels common misconceptions about the use of race in the college admission process.
- NACAC's Diversity in Higher Education report summarizes results from NACAC’s 2003 member survey regarding institutional commitments and approaches to diversity.
- NACAC also summarized federal and state level legal activities regarding race as a factor in college admission decisions.
Key Court Cases
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Hopwood v. State of Texas (1996)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
Race-Neutral Mandates at the State Level
California: Proposition 209
Colorado: Amendment 46
Florida: One Florida Executive Order
Michigan: Ballot Proposition 06-2
Legal challenges to this mandate are currently pending. The most recent decision, which was issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and has since been vacated by the full appeals court, is available here
Nebraska: Initiative Measure 424
Washington: Initiative 200