Promoting Educational Attainment and Economic Mobility among Racially, Ethnically, and Economically Diverse Groups after the 2023 Supreme Court Decision to Ban Race-Conscious Admissions at Colleges and Universities

Funding Agency:
Russell Sage Foundation

The Russell Sage Foundation, in collaboration with the Hewlett, Spencer, and William T. Grant Foundations, seeks to support innovative research on the aftermath of the 2023 Supreme Court decision striking down race-conscious college and university admissions policies. The initiative focuses on ways to promote educational attainment and economic mobility among racially, ethnically, and economically diverse groups following the court’s ruling that the declared that use of race-conscious admissions policies violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

Submission Deadline:  April 16, 2024, at 2:00 PM (ET)

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

We are especially interested in proposals that will advance social science research on the social, political, and economic effects of the Supreme Court decision and the future of race-conscious policies more generally. Examples of the kinds of topics and questions that are of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What are the short- and long-run effects of the June 2023 Supreme Court ruling that restricts race-conscious policies in university and college admissions on who attends college and where?
  • What has experience with the direct admissions or percentage plans of California, Texas, and other states revealed about what happens to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in enrollment and degree completion when race-conscious admission policies are no longer permissible for undergraduates or graduate students?
  • Which alternatives to race-conscious policies, whether independently or in tandem, generate socioeconomic and racial and ethnic diversity in applications, admissions, enrollment, debt-free degree completion, and social mobility?
  • To what extent are the beneficiaries of race-conscious admissions policies, who enroll in selective colleges and universities, more or less likely to graduate relative to those attending less-selective institutions?
  • To what extent do race-neutral or alternative admissions policies contribute to the promotion of educational attainment and economic mobility among racially, ethnically, and economically diverse groups following the Supreme Court decision?
  • What are the racial and socioeconomic composition effects of eliminating other admission practices such as early admissions, the use of standardized test scores, or the preferential treatment of the children of donors, alumni, faculty, and recruited athletes?
  • To what extent will the race-conscious admissions ban impact the effort that high school students put into their studies, their educational aspirations, and their subsequent enrollment in higher education?
  • What are the educational, social, and civic engagement benefits that derive from students’ interactions with classmates whose backgrounds, race and ethnicity, experiences, and political views differ from their own?
  • What can we learn from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s) on how to support retention, recruitment, anddegreecompletion for students from marginalized groups?
  •  What program or policy changesmight provide the basis for addressing historical racial harm in the context of higher education access andeconomic mobility?
  • To what extent might improvements in college affordability lead to the promotion of educational attainment and economic mobility among racially, ethnically, and economically diverse groups?
  • To what extent will the Supreme Court decision alter the college-to-career pipeline that many employers rely on to diversify their workforce?
  • To what extent is the Supreme Court decision affecting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I) initiatives in the recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, and advancement of workers of color and or/other groups in higher education and in the private and public sectors?
  • How are attitudes towards the use of race, ethnicity, or gender criteria in admissions, hiring, or contracting preferences formed? What factors are associated with opposition to and support for race-conscious policies? How might the framing of diversity, bias, opportunity, and/or mobility affect opposition or support for race-conscious policies?

Amount Description

Funds can support research assistance, data acquisition, data analysis, and investigator time. Trustee grants are capped at $200,000, including 15 percent indirect costs, over a two-year period. Presidential awards, over a two-year period, are capped at $50,000 (no indirect costs), but at $75,000 (no indirect costs) when the proposed project involves original data collection or gaining access to restricted-use data.

Funding Type





Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 16, 2024