In the wake of the June 29 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning affirmative action – the consideration of race in college admissions – some groups at UNC are gearing up for change.
The Chancellor’s Office recently announced a plan to cover tuition and associated fees for students with household earnings under $80,000 a year, starting with the 2024 incoming class. This effort will financially support an additional 150 to 200 students.
Additionally, the chancellor plans to plant outreach officers across the state in areas handpicked according to data from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and existing partnerships with the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program.
“These accessibility efforts are designed to encourage an applicant pool that leaves no one out if their dream is to come to Carolina and ensures they can afford it if they earn admission to Carolina,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a July 19 statement to the Board of Governors.
President of UNC Young Democrats and rising senior TJ White supports Guskiewicz’s plan. He said it “addresses socioeconomic diversity, which is a huge underlying factor of racial diversity."
White said he hopes other universities across the state and country notice the chancellor’s efforts and take similar action.
Rising junior and Affirmative Action Coalition outreach chair Joy Jiang echoed White’s sentiment. She said that, in her personal opinion, the chancellor is doing everything he can in light of what she perceives as pushback from the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees.
White said he acknowledges that the only method to reverse the recent affirmative action decision is to get more liberal justices appointed to the Court.
“But what we can do in the meantime is advocate for other measures to increase socioeconomic diversity, geographical diversity and diversity of thought in universities,” he said.