On June 23, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of race and ethnicity in university admissions in Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger. In so doing, the Court reaffirmed the fundamental importance of equal access to higher education in this country, particularly access to the most selective public and private colleges and universities, but those decisions also carry with them significant obligations and responsibilities for institutions that wish to consider race and ethnicity in their admission processes. Many of the proposals in this book may well contribute to improved admissions policies and processes that colleges and universities are beginning to redesign in light of the Court’s decisions. In order for the various proposals presented in this book to truly make sense, however, we need to understand how selective admission currently works and,
especially, to understand the differences in the admission processes used by most selective private colleges and universities compared to those used by most selective public institutions.