Catholic University Law Review


Eang L. Ngov


Affirmative action has been at the forefront of educational policies and to this day continues to enliven debates. For decades, schools have litigated over whether affirmative action can be used to create a diverse student body. Now, the litigation has shifted to whether affirmative action policies are narrowly tailored. The Supreme Court’s most recent affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, requires that schools prove that there are no workable race neutral alternatives in order to demonstrate that their affirmative action programs are narrowly tailored. This article examines the available race neutral alternatives: percentage plans; socioeconomic based admissions policies; elimination of legacy and development admission preferences; recruitment, retention, and financial aid programs; and community outreach. After evaluating their effectiveness, this article concludes that these programs are workable race neutral alternatives that higher education institutions must consider before they resort to using race as a factor in admissions.