The Trump administration doesn’t want you to see race, at least when it comes to college admissions.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidelines that encouraged higher education institutions to consider race during the admissions process, according to The New York Times.
The announcement comes from the Justice and Education Departments. The old guidelines were “unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper,” according to a DOJ statement.
The announcement might not carry as much weight as it seems to. Here’s how the new guidelines could impact you.
Should race be a factor in admissions?
Whether or not race should be a factor in college admissions is one of the oldest questions in the modern history of higher education — and the answer depends on who you ask.
When President Obama’s administration released its affirmative action guidelines in 2011, the recommendations were meant to encourage colleges and universities to consider using race when selecting students for admissions. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder said that diversity dismantles stereotypes and that the guidance would help colleges provide true equality.
But last year, the Times reported that black and Hispanic students are even more underrepresented than they were 35 years ago. Enrollment among both groups may be up, but when it comes to elite schools, those students make up a smaller portion of attendees compared to other colleges.
According to the Times analysis, “Affirmative action increases the numbers of black and Hispanic students at many colleges and universities, but experts say that persistent underrepresentation often stems from equity issues that begin earlier.”
How will the new guidelines impact colleges and universities?
The current Department of Education is hoping colleges use race as little as possible when considering future students, according to Vox. Since revoking the Obama-era guidance on affirmative action, the current administration has republished guidelines from the George W. Bush era, noting that college admissions should be “race-neutral.”
Though the newest guidelines don’t change any laws, that doesn’t mean schools won’t be affected by them. Colleges that don’t follow the new guidance could be subject to an investigation by the DOJ. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has indicated his willingness to sue if colleges are found to have admissions processes that include race as a factor, according to the Times.
“In the Trump administration, we are restoring the rule of law,” Sessions said in the DOJ statement. “That’s why … we began rescinding guidance documents that were issued improperly or that were simply inconsistent with current law. Today we are rescinding 24 more and continuing to put an end to unnecessary or improper rulemaking.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a separate statement obtained by ABC News that affirmative action is the law and schools should enforce the rules laid out by the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court has determined what affirmative action policies are constitutional, and the court’s written decisions are the best guide for navigating this complex issue,” DeVos said. “Schools should continue to offer equal opportunities for all students while abiding by the law.”
But others believe the Obama-era guidance is vital to colleges diversifying their student body. Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, released a statement following the Trump administration’s removal of the guidelines. He said the decision moves the country in the wrong direction.
“At a time when our society grows ever more diverse and the need for engagement with individuals from other backgrounds is vitally important, the federal government should not threaten colleges and universities in their efforts to construct inclusive campuses,” his statement said. “The Trump administration is sending precisely the wrong message to institutions that are committed to following four decades of Supreme Court precedent.”
Does this change how you look for a school?
Finding your dream school depends on what you want out of a college or university. If a diverse student body is a priority, inquire about those statistics with your college of choice. Schools should offer this information up without issue. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for example, breaks down its enrollment data by college, degree, major, race, and sex.
If you’re looking for your perfect school, make a list of the most important factors a college should have. Consider everything from location to cost and campus culture. Remember that you’re not obligated to attend a school if it accepts your college application. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s a fit.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.94% – 12.78%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.04% – 13.04%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 13.13%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.92% – 10.01%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.26% – 12.13%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|