The Biden administration has issued guidance to colleges on how to promote diversity and equity within legal boundaries.
The Education and Justice departments have outlined measures that institutions can take to achieve diversity, such as reaching out to high schools in low-income areas to recruit a diverse student body.
While overt consideration of race in admissions decisions remains prohibited, colleges are allowed to take into account how applicants’ experiences, including race, have influenced their lives.
The guidance also suggests that colleges can reconsider admissions policies that disproportionately benefit wealthy and White applicants, such as legacy preferences, and address potential barriers like application fees, entrance exams, and prerequisite course requirements.
It remains to be seen if these strategies would survive a robust legal challenge but Education Secretary Miguel Cardona emphasized the importance of ensuring that historically marginalized groups are not discouraged from pursuing higher education.