Posted on August 16, 2023

Harvard Updates Application After Affirmative Action Ruling

Steph Solis, Axios, August 14, 2023

Harvard College has updated its application process after the Supreme Court ruled in June that its use of affirmative action in admissions was unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Rather than explicitly factoring race into admission decisions, Harvard’s supplemental application now requires answers to a series of questions about students’ life experiences, extracurricular activities or family responsibilities and goals.

  • The first reads: “Harvard has long recognized the importance of enrolling a diverse student body. How will the life experiences that shape who you are today enable you to contribute to Harvard?”
  • The 2022 version included similar questions but made the essay optional.

Flashback: The changes come after an internal Harvard email in June noted that the ruling lets colleges consider “an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”