Rejected White Applicants Seek $1.2-Million in Damages From U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 13

Having persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down race-conscious undergraduate admissions policies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case are now asking a lower court to force the university to pay damages to thousands of rejected white and Asian-American applicants.

In a motion filed last week in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the lawyers for the two plaintiffs in the case asked the court to compel the university to pay damages to all of the white or Asian-American applicants rejected by its undergraduate College of Literature, Science, and the Arts from 1995 through 2003, the years when the challenged policies were in place.

The motion asks the court to force Michigan to refund the $40 application fee paid by each of the approximately 30,000 white or Asian-American applicants turned away during the period in question—a request that, if granted, would cost the university about $1.2-million. The motion also asks that, at a minimum, each of the rejected applicants be awarded $1 in nominal damages.

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