Students for Fair Admissions: Supreme Court Ruling Analysis and Resources

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On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States restricted the ability of colleges and universities to use race-conscious admission policies.

In its decision about affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina (collectively “SFFA”), the Court held that “Harvard’s and UNC’s admissions programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

While this decision was directed at higher education institutions, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations are grappling with what this decision might mean for the sector in the future. Independent Sector is working closely with our sector and legal partners to understand and track the impact.

We have joined other philanthropic organizations in sharing our strong concerns about the decision and re-affirming our commitment to equity and diversity within our sector and our country. With sector partners and other stakeholders, we have developed resources that we hope will be helpful to the sector.

We will continue to update this page as we have additional resources to share.


Steptoe & Johnson Analysis: Commissioned by the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector, this memorandum includes background and analysis on the potential implications of the Supreme Court’s decision for nonprofits and foundations.

FAQ: Race-Conscious Admissions: Independent Sector member Council on Foundations provides responses to common questions about the potential application of Title VI discrimination claims outside of higher education, and possible implications for the sector. The FAQ page will be updated as new information emerges.

Philanthropic Joint Statement: Led by Independent Sector members The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ford Foundation, this joint statement is signed by more than 120 organizations, including IS.

Embracing Our Collective Influence: Independent Sector President and CEO Dr. Akilah Watkins invites our sector to embrace collective influence and advocacy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision and Independent Sector’s recent report on the decline of nonprofit advocacy.

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