Since the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling, schools and students have wondered about higher education’s future.
In an interview with ABC News Live, Clark Atlanta University President Dr. George French shared his thoughts on the ban. He also expressed how the decision affects historically Black colleges and universities moving forward.
“There is a large degree of disappointment within the HBCU constituency,” he told the outlet’s Phil Lipof. “And that is because this decision was intentionally, appears to be intentional, in eroding what was an effective remedy for racial disparities in our nation. So we’re upset about it, but at the same time, we understand that this provides an opportunity for HBCUs to provide access to education for those who otherwise would not have it.”
He continued, “We can anticipate a precipitous decline in PWI [predominantly white institution] enrollment going forward. What does that mean? That means that we need additional resources, as the HBCU community, to meet the needs of those students. Not just financial, but programmatic.”
On June 29, the nation’s highest court ended using affirmative action in college admissions decisions. The ruling was made after the justices’ majority claimed Harvard University and The University of North Carolina admissions programs violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The following day (June 30), current and former students were hit with more news after learning the Supreme Court also struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan. Had the justices okayed the aid, over 40 million borrowers would have received up to $20,000 in relief.
“We had an opportunity to eliminate [the] debt of 21 million graduates, and those who no longer are attending university are totally eliminated. That would allow them to purchase houses, to solidify their wealth program, and plan as a family. So now, they’ll have to go back and figure out how to pay off these loans,” French said of the court’s forgiveness decision. “And make note, one-third of all those who are in repayment programs, one-third of those do not have a degree. But now, they had student loan debt with no degree. That is a problem for our economy.”
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