Expanding Access & Equity in the College Admissions Process

STEM PUSH is working to change college admissions to expand access and equity for Black, Latina/o/e and Indigenous students in STEM fields. Our aim is to improve college-going and persistence in STEM for students in our participating 40+ pre-college STEM programs.

The Supreme Court is poised to weaken race conscious admissions practices, a move that may have profound implications for equity in higher education. As educators and admissions professionals seek effective ways to counter systemic inequities for Black, Latina/o/e and Indigenous students, the work of STEM PUSH’s admissions strand is more important than ever.

Even before the recent challenge to race-conscious admissions practices, established higher education admissions has been systemically unfair to Black, Latina/o/e and Indigenous, and multiply marginalized students. Many of these students apply to colleges interested in STEM and with unique STEM skills and experiences developed through their pre-college STEM program (PCSP); however, some students have been rejected from institutions despite successes in their STEM program, which in some cases include authoring research publications.

We think such disconnects are due to several factors, including systemic limitations that are compounded through the admissions process, and a lack of support to help them stand out to admissions offices.

In this issue, we identify current challenges and opportunities in the college admissions process.

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