Posted on August 15, 2023

Colleges Skirt Supreme Court Ruling Barring Race-Based Admissions by Asking About ‘Identity’

Brandon Poulter, Daily Caller, August 14, 2023

Colleges and universities have started implementing questions about identity in admissions essays following the Supreme Court’s ban on race-based admissions, according to multiple admissions websites reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Essays from more than two dozen schools are asking questions about identity and “lived experience” and asking students to discuss how their life was shaped by those things, according to The New York Times. Last year these essays asked questions such as what students like to read and what volunteering students have done, but after the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action, that changed.

“Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you’d like to pursue in college at Hopkins,” the Johns Hopkins admissions website reads.


“If schools are using ‘identity,’ ‘lived experience,’ or even zip codes as proxies for race, that’s unlawful. The Court allowed schools to consider whether personal experiences, like overcoming discrimination, created personal virtue, but it made clear that schools can’t use such things to discriminate on the sly,” GianCarlo Canaparo, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the DCNF.