Swarthmore Joins Brief Opposing Supreme Court Challenge to Use of Race in College Admissions

Parrish Hall

Swarthmore, along with more than 30 other private, highly selective liberal arts institutions, filed an amicus brief [pdf] opposing a Supreme Court challenge to how race is used in college admissions. The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, was filed on behalf of a white student who believes she was denied admission on the basis of race. More than 70 briefs have been filed supporting the university.

“We do not commit to diversifying our institutions out of a charitable impulse to uplift the underserved,” said President Valerie Smith in her inaugural address last month. “Certainly opening our institutions to students from underrepresented communities will improve their life choices and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. But these students are not the only ones who will learn from these encounters. The process of change goes both ways. When we commit to diversifying our institutions, we improve our institutions as well.” 

Reflecting on the importance of the current case, President Smith adds, “A holistic admissions process safeguards the College’s ability to provide students with a rich educational experience and to prepare them to serve the needs of a democratic society.”

Oral arguments in Fisher began before the Supreme Court on October 10.