The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Will Affect College Admissions Decisions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Will Affect College Admissions Decisions


By Admissions Expert, Dr. Lowe

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its previous rulings that colleges and universities have the right to consider diversity and to include race as a factor in its holistic review process. The Court’s decision empowers colleges and universities to promote both equity and excellence by reducing the role of test scores and other quantitative factors and focusing more on students’ character, qualitative attributes and what I have coined their “WOW Factor.”

Holistic admissions practices involve a comprehensive review of each applicant’s full portfolio, including such factors as high school academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, and family background. This means many students and their parents, who believe that top grades, perfect standardized test scores, the usual music and art awards, the list of perceived amazing extracurricular activities, and the standard school-sponsored volunteerism, coupled with their all-new “create my own philanthropic organization,” will be stunned when they receive their early action and regular decision results.

Consider the following:

  • More and more applicants who sound exactly alike on paper are applying to Ivy League and highly competitive schools.
  • The number of coveted spots remains relatively constant, while the number of domestic as well as international students from similar demographics applying to these coveted spots increases.
  • Colleges and universities are striving to identify and accept talented individuals from typically underrepresented demographics.

You can bet there will an increased number of surprise rejections this year…

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is managing director of Greenwich Admissions Advisors and lead admissions expert at College Application Rejected, a part of the Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.

Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to and experiencing the unique educational environment and communities of Ivy League and highly selective colleges and elite private day and boarding schools.

Dr. Lowe is an active member of several professional organizations including: the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC), and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), and the Admissions Leadership Consortium (ALC).