In a 6-3 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that policies at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina that consider applicants’ racial background as a factor in student admissions are insconsistent with the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The ruling affects longstanding admissions policies at public and private colleges and universities throughout the country.

Here, UCLA responds to common questions about race-conscious policies, campus admissions guidelines and the possible implications of the court's decision. 

What will the Supreme Court decision mean for California’s public colleges and universities

We are still analyzing the details of the decision, but we note that under Proposition 209, California public colleges already do not consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in admissions.

What is Proposition 209 and what are its implications for UCLA?

California’s Proposition 209 was a ballot initiative passed in 1996 that amended the California Constitution to prohibit, among other things, universities from “granting preferential treatment” to individuals on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. The constitutional change went into effect in 1998 and eliminated some of the tools that the university had previously employed to achieve diversity in its student body.

Are race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin used as UCLA admissions criteria?


What are UCLA admissions decisions based on?

The criteria include both quantitative and qualitative academic and personal accomplishments by the student, the context of those accomplishments, the challenges faced by and opportunities afforded to the student, and the number and rigor of courses taken and grades earned in those courses, along with consideration of what they will add to the life of the campus.

We also look at other evidence of achievement, including accomplishments in the performing arts and athletics, employment, leadership in school or community organizations or activities, and community service. Read more about UCLA admissions policy and procedures.

How does UCLA fulfill its commitment to diversity and inclusion under Proposition 209?

UCLA advances goals like diversity and equal opportunity using a broad range of admissions and hiring criteria that are not based on an individual’s race or sex. For example, at UCLA, holistic review in undergraduate admissions considers life circumstances, opportunities and accomplishments both in and outside of the classroom. We look for a broad range of interests and achievements, and we value evidence of a student’s ability and desire to contribute to the campus and to its rich cultural, socioeconomic and intellectual diversity.