Since 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed universities to use Affirmative Action as a tool to increase racial diversity. However, on June 29, 2023 the court rejected affirmative action at U.S. colleges and universities. We recognize how devastating this decision is, but the responses from local colleges and universities have been reaffirming that diversity on campus is still a priority.
The University of Utah explained that they have never used race to determine entrance eligibility, but rather they use their outreach efforts to increase diversity further explaining "The U routinely reaches out to students from historically under-represented domestic minority groups to encourage them to apply. We do this through work with high schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations ensuring that the U is always represented as a possible college choice for students."
Utah Valley University (UVU) has an open enrollment policy. If you have a high school diploma or GED and submit an application to UVU, you'll be accepted. However, we recognize that it’s not enough to be accepted into the college; you also have to feel a sense of belonging. UVU is well aware of this. Tara Ivie, their Vice President of Inclusive Excellence noted the following “Often especially historically marginalized populations are less likely to see themselves as college students or think that that’s a space for them, And that’s a core theme at UVU — that education is for everyone.”
We write today to reaffirm that PCEF’s Bright Futures program has and will continue to walk alongside first-generation students to and through college, despite the evolving educational landscape. To our students, staff, and alumni—past, present, and future— you deserve access to education!