The University of South Carolina will continue to use race as a factor in determining who gets accepted into school, despite new guidance from the Trump administration calling for admissions to be race-neutral.
Earlier this month, the Justice and Education Departments rescinded the Obama-era guidance that encouraged colleges to promote racial diversity by considering an applicant’s race. In reversing the policy, the guidance reverts to the Bush administration’s policy, which called for race-neutral admissions.
The “guidance” documents are interpretations of the law, but are not legally binding.
Asked whether USC planned to change its policies to align with the Trump administration’s guidance, USC spokesman Wes Hickman said, “No, our practices have been and will continue to be in compliance with the law, so we don’t believe the guidance change necessitates any change in our practice.”
Per a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision, it is legal for colleges to use race as a factor in reviewing applicants.
“With 28,000 applicants for fewer than 3,800 spots, Clemson utilizes a holistic review of applications taking into account a wide range of factors,” spokesman Joe Galbraith said in an email. “We will continue to take a thorough approach to analyzing applicants in the future, and we’re evaluating how the Department of Education guidance will be best applied to our review process moving forward.”