Here in Poland, after the invasion, universities started providing a separate admissions track to Ukrainian students.

Набір на навчання Ми підготували два шляхи набору кандидатів на наші спеціальності: відкритий набір для всіх кандидатів та спеціальний набір, призначений лише для кандидатів з України.

Admission to study We have prepared two ways of recruiting candidates for our specialties: an open recruitment for all candidates and a special recruitment intended only for candidates from Ukraine.

In June 2023, SCOTUS decided to heavily limit the use of race in college admissions. Would this verdict hamper attempts by public/private U.S. colleges to provide similar arrangements for Ukrainians? If the practice is against the decision but the university goes with it anyway, what penalties could it face?

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    "Ukrainian" is not a "race". It is a nationality.
    – nvoigt
    Aug 30, 2023 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


Is it no longer possible for US universities to specifically support Ukrainians in admissions after SCOTUS ruling?

It is probably still possible to do so.

Basically, support for Ukrainians, right now, is not support for Ukrainians because they are Ukrainian nationals or ethnically Ukrainians. Indeed, if a Roma person (a.k.a. Gypsy) or ethnically Polish or Turkish person from Ukraine applied for help from the program, they would probably also qualify.

Instead, the support is basically for refugees from a country in an active international war, on what is presumed to be a temporary basis in response to this emergency. It is probably more analogous to colleges and universities providing support for students displaced from Southern Louisiana by Hurricane Katrina from a legal perspective, the validity of which has never been questioned. No law prohibits preferences for refugees in college admissions or requires that any particular institution respond equally to every crisis around the world equally.

It also bears similarity to programs supporting Jewish refugees from Europe during World War II, which again, while connected to ethnicity, is not really because of a preference for an ethnicity, so muych as it is response to a specific, one off, emergency.

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