Affirmative Action in Education

This guide explores the history of affirmative action in education.



In the News

Pew Research Center

Does Affirmative Action Discriminate Against Asian Americans?

Supporters argue affirmative action helps to even the playing field, providing more opportunities individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and historically oppressed or marginalized groups. The result of the expansion of opportunities is a positive diversified educational setting and the workforce. But those who argue against it say affirmative action promotes "reverse" discrimination based on race or ethnicity and treats Americans as groups rather than individuals. The Supreme Court case which overturned affirmative action, Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College, arose from more claims of reverse discrimination - arguments that Harvard College and University of North Carolina discriminated against Asian Americans in favor of white, Black, and Latino applicants. The debate below summarizes a few of the differing views.