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Colleges Given the Option to Withhold Student’s Race on Common App for Admissions

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Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by

Written By Student Hires  |  News  |  0 Comments | May 30, 2023

Every year, the many students who apply to colleges via the Common App are given a choice of checking a box stating whether they identify as Hispanic, Asian, black, or white, among other options.

As of Aug 1, 2023, colleges can block a student’s race box option on the Common App. The Common App is used by over 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States as an application platform for prospective students. This new option will help colleges comply with whatever legal standard the Supreme Court sets regarding race in admissions.

The Common App allows institutions to suppress racial information from printable and digital applications. If requested, this new feature will enable colleges to hide students’ self-reported race and ethnicity data from admissions officers.

A recent court decision allowing colleges to opt out is one of the first concrete examples of how college admissions may change if the Supreme Court bans or restricts race-conscious admission policies. For example, the opt-out option might also put more than 2/3 pressure on applicants to reveal their racial and ethnic background in other ways, such as essays or teacher recommendations. 

It’s still being determined what sort of decision the high court will issue; it could happen between now and June. During oral arguments last fall, however, justices showed an interest in using race boxes.

According to the New York Times, Isiaah Crawford said that a white student could talk about their parent attending an Ivy League school if race were not discussed when applying to college. But, on the other hand, a Black student would not be able to talk about their experience and their grandparents not being able to go there.

What is The Common App?

The Common Application, or “Common App,” is a centralized online platform used by over 900 colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide. This platform streamlines the application process for students, allowing them to apply to multiple institutions with just one set of materials.

The Common App asks for demographic information, including race, as part of the application process. This information is collected for research and statistical purposes and does not impact a student’s admission decision. However, some argue that this information could lead to unconscious biases that could negatively affect underrepresented students.

Despite the potential bias, the Common App remains an essential tool for college-bound students. It allows them to manage the complex and often stressful college application process more. With just one application, you can apply to numerous institutions, increasing your chances of acceptance and ultimately paving the way for countless job opportunities.

Remember that while the Common App is a convenient and effective tool, it’s not the only factor in college admissions. Your academic performance, extracurricular activities, essays, and other materials also play a crucial role in determining your acceptance to a university.

Student Hires and Student-Led Training Programs

Student Hires is an organization that creates hands-on, project-based after-school programs led by college students. Our goal is to increase the career readiness of disadvantaged students and provide them with valuable job opportunities.

We collaborate with local businesses and universities to create meaningful opportunities for our students. We also offer training programs that help students develop the skills they need to succeed in their future careers.

Our programs are designed to be engaging and interactive, allowing students to learn while having fun. In addition, we can provide our students with various job opportunities through our network of employers, universities, and other partners.


We will have to see what decisions the supreme court makes in June regarding further regulation of race options on these forms in the future and how institutions react to the news. What are your thoughts on the new guidelines coming Aug 1? Let us know in the comments below!

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Student Hires

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