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News Update

Colleges will be able to block a student’s race on the Common App

The Common App, the application that 1 million students use to apply to college each year, is making it possible for colleges to block a “race box,” the box a student checks to indicate their race or ethnicity.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to bar affirmative action soon. Common App said in a statement that the new option will help colleges comply “with whatever legal standard the Supreme Court will set in regards to race in admissions.”

Supreme Court justices mentioned the phrase “checking the box” during oral arguments last October.

The Common App will allow colleges to block a student’s information beginning Aug. 1. The Common App is used by over 1,000 colleges and universities.

The New York Times notes that the nonprofit organization’s move is one of the first concrete examples of how admissions could transform in the wake of a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal experts told the Times that masking the race boxes on the Common App could protect colleges from liability, in the wake of a ban on race-conscious admissions practices.