RALEIGH, N.C. — The American college admissions process is undergoing a serious reboot. A Supreme Court decision to reverse affirmative action will take race away as a factor for determining admission into a college.

Provost and vice president of academic affairs at St. Augustine’s University, Dr. Ricardo Phipps, says as an HBCU, they will continue to welcome students of all backgrounds.

What You Need To Know

  • The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to reverse affirmative action

  • Race is no longer a consideration for admission to college

  • St. Augustine's University is an HBCU

  • Dr. Ricardo Phipps. St. Augustine's provost and vice president of academic affairs, is reacting to the action

The majority opinion, composed of mainly conservative justices, wrote affirmative action violates the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This landmark undoing involves cases from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

In summary in both cases, the plaintiffs accused the first private and public universities of unfair acceptance standards for higher education.

To outlaw the consideration of race as a factor in admissions is not a shock to Phipps.

“I think we run the risk of having less diversity in many different spaces. The differing voices that we need at the table in terms of continuing to grow our society and move us in positive directions, and that’s the disappointing part about decisions like today,” Phipps said.

As a career academic at St. Augustine’s University, a historically Black college and university, Phipps says in many ways they will stay the course.

“I think we are going to keep doing what we have always done as HBCUs is to provide a welcoming, academically challenging space for students of all backgrounds,” he said.

A seismic SCOTUS decision such as this conjures up memories of the past for Phipps, who is originally from Natchez, Mississippi.

“It is hurtful because we know that not just higher education admission but in many facets of society we still live with a certain amount of bias, and racism is still alive," he said.

The vote by the Supreme Court seeks to eliminate any racial preferences or bias for accepting some candidates over others in the college admissions process, leaving room for personal experiences based on racial discrimination or inspiration in the college essay section.

“It basically dismisses the reality that for many years in this country race was very much a factor,” Phipps said.

Pew Research Center data shows nearly 75% of respondents do not believe race or ethnicity should be a deciding factor for college admission.

Phipps has a message for high schoolers in North Carolina applying for college this fall.

“We more than want to welcome those students here and it is our hope that maybe they broaden their perspective in terms of where they might be searching,” Phipps said.

The advocacy group, Students for Free Admissions, is the organization that filed the lawsuit against UNC. 

In the meantime, Phipps said St. Augustine’s will be reviewing their admissions process.