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College admissions and the Supreme Court

In October, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear two cases that could impact the way some universities in America approach college admissions. At issue in the cases  are admissions policies that include race as an overall factor in how applications are read. Historically, the policies are meant to increase diversity within an institution and take into consideration long-lasting inequities related to access. At the University of Utah, race is not a factor in its admissions strategy, however, building a student population on the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion is a governing priority. To that end, the number of under-represented students at the U has steadily increased in the last 10 years, and it is the intent of the U to see that number continue to climb. This FAQ explains how the U approaches its admissions process.

Is race a factor in the U’s acceptance process?

No. The U accepts students based on their demonstrated achievements and indications of their likeliness to academically succeed as a University of Utah student.

How does the U’s admissions process support a diverse student body?

The U’s overall recruitment process encourages diversity by reaching out to all students admissible in Utah as well as many possible applicants who live out of state. We have staff members dedicated exclusively to doing outreach to students from domestic minority groups within Utah. Our acceptance process is the same for all applicants.

If the Supreme Court rules against race-conscious admissions policies, how does that impact the U?

If the court only forbids race-conscious admissions policies, it will have no impact on the U.

What is the U doing to encourage historically under-represented students to apply to the U?

The U routinely reaches out to students from historically under-represented domestic minority groups to encourage them to apply. We do this through work with high schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations ensuring that the U is always represented as a possible college choice for students.

How many students at the U come from historically under-represented groups?

From 2011-21 the portion of students of color at the U from within the United States has increased significantly from 15 percent to 26 percent, which is similar to high school populations within Utah. In that same period of time, the domestic portion of undergraduate students who self-identified as a student of color increased from 17 percent to 28 percent. More information is available through the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis.