Yale Reaches Settlement On Affirmative Action Case

CATEGORY: Private Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
DATE: Sep 29, 2023

A lawsuit against Yale University over its affirmative action policies was dropped after the University agreed to make significant changes to its admissions policies.

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) originally filed the lawsuit against Yale in 2021, challenging Yale’s admissions policies.  SFFA was the same group that brought lawsuits against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, challenging their admissions practices.

The parties discussed Yale’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision, and, as part of those discussions, Yale agreed to take the following actions:

  • It has updated its training materials to make clear that race may not be used as a factor in making admissions decisions;
  • It will take technological steps to ensure that no person involved in making admissions decisions has access to check-box racial data from its application services at any time during the admissions review cycle;
  • Its admissions office will not run any reports during the review cycle that would provide any aggregate data with regard to the racial composition of admitted students;
  • Race will not be a factor in calculating or awarding financial aid.

Note: This agreement requires Yale to make significant and wide-reaching admissions policy changes, and encompasses not only race-conscious admissions, but also financial aid and data transparency.  These changes are more restrictive than the Supreme Court’s opinion suggests, but indicates that challenges to financial aid and data transparency may be more common as schools navigate the Supreme Court’s decision.

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