June 29, 2023

Dear CSU Community,

Like other institutions of higher education across the country, we have been awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on two affirmative action cases involving race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In today’s landmark decision, the Supreme Court banned the consideration of race as a factor in university admissions.

This constitutional ban on race-conscious admissions will impact admissions practices at many institutions. Here at CSU, the court’s decision will not affect the undergraduate admissions process we have had in place for decades. CSU’s process assesses the student holistically through a wide range of factors, including personal experiences and academic achievements. At CSU, a public land-grant university, no qualified student is turned away from earning a world-class 4-year degree.

Our approach has resulted in an increasingly diverse and talented undergraduate student body. In fact, last fall we welcomed our largest ever incoming class of more than 5,700 students. We are extremely proud that a full 28% of these students are from diverse backgrounds, 25% are first-generation students, and 60% are Colorado residents with several hundred students coming from rural communities. Enrolling students with a broad range of skills, perspectives, life experiences, and identities is part of our access mission, and it enriches our community.

CSU’s graduate admissions process begins with a recommendation for admission by academic departments and final approval is made by the Graduate School. In anticipation of this ruling, we reached out to departmental graduate admissions staff across the university and will work with each department in conjunction with the Graduate School to determine what, if any, changes may be necessary to ensure graduate admissions comply with the direction set by the court.

CSU was founded 153 years ago on the then radical notion that the benefits of an excellent education should be accessible to all qualified students, not just the privileged few. That promise, which is foundational to CSU, does not change because of today’s decision banning the consideration of race in college admissions. The promise of educational opportunity and the value of diversity in all its forms are imperative for a thriving democracy and productive society.

To prospective students and families who fear this ruling will change their access to a CSU education, nothing could be further from the truth. An undergraduate education at CSU remains available to all qualified students with the talent and determination to attend a top-tier research university. Our commitment to opportunity extends to our graduate programs, though admission to advanced degree programs is more selective. We work hard to provide the resources and support that make a CSU degree attainable for students from all walks of life, and this will always be a priority for us as a public university committed to access.

To our current students, faculty, staff, and extended Ram family, this decision is an occasion to reaffirm that we are an inclusive academic community. Our university’s commitment to access, inclusion, and academic excellence has never been stronger. The doors of opportunity remain wide open at CSU, and today’s Supreme Court decision doesn’t change that.

With gratitude for our strong and diverse CSU community,

Amy Parsons
President, Colorado State University