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After Supreme Court Ruling, Can the Essay Get You In?

After Supreme Court Ruling, Can the Essay Get You In?

Inside Higher Ed

Scott Jaschik
July 10, 2023
One of the essay prompts on the Common Application is:
“Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
The question was on the Common App last year, and the organization is not changing any of its essay prompts this year. Is the question a perfect boost to minority students to get into competitive colleges?
That question for colleges, more than 1,000 of which are members of the Common App, is how to use the answers students write. To date, the experts are advising caution, both to colleges and students.
The Supreme Court decision eliminating affirmative action in college admissions, by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., said: “[A]s all parties agree, nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”
However, Roberts quickly added, “But despite the dissent’s assertion to the contrary, universities may not simply establish through application essays or other means the regime we hold unlawful today.”
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