Johns Hopkins, 15 other universities file court document supporting diversity in college admissions

Schools say they support consideration of race as a factor in the admissions process

Johns Hopkins University is among 16 leading universities that filed an amicus brief July 30 supporting the consideration of race as one factor among many in a holistic college admissions process.

In friend-of-the-court papers filed in federal court in Massachusetts, the schools say they "speak with one voice to emphasize the profound importance of a diverse student body for their educational missions."

The amicus brief is in response to issues raised by a lawsuit against Harvard University, which alleges that Harvard and the other seven Ivy League schools have coordinated efforts to cap the number of Asian-American students offered admission.

The amicus brief does not address the specifics of Harvard's practices. Rather, it states that the signing-schools' admissions policies are nuanced, multifaceted, and designed to take into account a wide range of perspectives, life experiences, interests, and backgrounds, with race and ethnicity among the many factors considered in the admissions process. With the filing, the schools reiterated their shared belief that enrolling a diverse student body "significantly deepens the students' educational experience."

"Diversity encourages students to question their own assumptions, to test received truths, and to appreciate the complexity of the modern world," the brief states. "This larger understanding prepares [our] graduates to pursue innovation in every field of discovery, to be active and engaged citizens equipped to wrestle with the great questions of the day, and to expand humanity's learning and accomplishment."

In addition to Johns Hopkins, the other schools signing the brief are Brown, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, George Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale.

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Tagged admissions