Press Release


Ameshia Cross

The Education Trust Says that the Supreme Court Delivered Two Right Hooks to Economic and Racial Justice 

WASHINGTON — In the span of two days, the Supreme Court ignored the plight of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds with two rulings that delivered blows to new and long-held federal education equity efforts. In striking down President Biden’s debt relief plan in one decision and ending a half-century of affirmative action advances in college admissions in another, a majority of justices turned a blind eye to the crushing effect that systemic racism still plays in higher education. 

“These misguided decisions ignore the gaps in opportunity, achievement, wealth, employment, and wages,” said Denise Forte, president and CEO of The Education Trust. “The Supreme Court re-erected barriers that make it more difficult for students from marginalized backgrounds to not only attend college, but to be able to afford it.” 

Both rulings are counterproductive to equal opportunity and diversity in higher education and further the erosion of democratic values in our society.  

The Education Trust joins students, professors, educational leaders, and voices in impacted communities in sounding the alarm about the ramifications of these decisions, including potential overreach by state governments. Ignoring or whitewashing the inequities that persist in higher education admissions and affordability, the Supreme Court’s decision has undercut the progress in fostering a more diverse and inclusive educational environment for all students.  

Despite these rulings, the bottom line remains the same: Research shows that affirmative action has worked to increase educational access for students of color, and what borrowers refer to as the current “Jim Crow” student debt system does not. No Supreme Court decision will change that. 

We implore all levels of the government and all institutions of higher learning to maintain their commitment to equity. Support for racial and economic justice issues — issues of fairness — remain necessary and essential to ensure all students have access to opportunity through higher education.