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Students navigating college admissions after end of affirmative action

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As the new year unfolds, a wave of high school students in New York City has found themselves immersed in the intricacies of the college application process. This season marks the beginning of a new era after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last June, declaring affirmative action in college admissions as unconstitutional.

In response to this landmark decision, colleges are now prohibited from considering race as a factor in their efforts to create diverse campuses. Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized the importance of evaluating students based on their individual experiences rather than their racial background.

Sylvia Canales, overseeing the College, Career, and Wellness program at The Brotherhood Sister Sol in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan, expressed the urgency of making young people aware of the ruling. She noted that many students, even before the ruling, were hesitant to apply to certain schools due to fear of rejection. Post-decision, it became crucial to reassure them of support.

A notable trend observed in the aftermath is the heightened interest in applying to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Melanie Carter, from Howard University’s HBCU Research, Leadership, and Policy, anticipates an increase in applications from top-performing students.

The end of race-conscious admissions is part of a broader transformation in higher education, with discussions underway about discontinuing legacy admissions, where preference is given to children of alumni. The Brotherhood Sister Sol is closely monitoring these policy changes to assess their impact on acceptance letters.

Sylvia Canales remains cautiously optimistic about the future, stating, “It will take until the end of the year to see what these uncharted waters are going to bring forth.”

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