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Education Now

Building Diverse College Communities

How higher education has reacted to the end of affirmative action and the path forward for equity

In a special one-hour edition of Education Now, five experts discussed fresh approaches and new imperatives to expanding access to higher education in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling against affirmative action. Panelists considered the institutional reaction to the ruling and how schools can better create pathways for underserved student communities, better value diversity and work to center a wide array of voices and backgrounds in its students and faculty. Other topics of conversation included the overall cost and affordability of higher education, the impact of legacy admissions on prestige institutions and the disconnect between admissions and institutional goals in higher education.  


  • Dominique Baker, associate professor of education policy, Southern Methodist University
  • Wil Del Pilar, senior vice president, The Education Trust
  • Rick Weissbourd, senior lecturer, HGSE and Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Making Caring Common
  • Susan Dynarski, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education, HGSE
  • Gary May, chancellor, University of California, Davis


Francesca Purcell, senior lecturer on education, HGSE


  • Departments of Justice and Education Q&A on the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmative action decision (PDF)
  • With End of Affirmative Action, a Push for a New Tool: Adversity Scores (New York Times)
  • Colleges decry Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, but most have terrible track records on diversity (Hechinger Report)
  • President Biden Announces Actions to Promote Educational Opportunity and Diversity in Colleges and Universities (
  • Taking Care of Siblings? Put it on the Common App (HGSE)

Education Now

A webinar and newsletter series to shape new approaches to challenges in education

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