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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill responded on Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week barring the university (and Harvard University) from using affirmative action in undergraduate admissions.

In a message to the campus, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said, “Our responsibility to comply with the law does not mean we will abandon our fundamental values as a university. We are and will remain passionately public, and we will ensure that every student who earns admission to Carolina can come here and thrive. Our university’s commitment to access and affordability and supporting a culture of belonging for everyone does not change with last week’s ruling.”

He added, “We will follow the Supreme Court’s decision in all respects. That means race will not be a factor in admissions decisions at the university. It also means we will comply with the court’s ruling that an applicant’s lived racial experience cannot be credited as ‘race for race’s sake,’ but instead under some circumstances may illuminate an individual’s character and contributions.

However, he announced policy changes:

  • The university will provide free tuition and required fees for incoming undergraduates from North Carolina whose families make less than $80,000 per year.
  • “As part of our commitment to reach future Tar Heels throughout the state, we have hired additional outreach officers as part of our admissions team. They are serving in under-resourced communities to spread awareness of our affordability and recruit students from across the state.”

Guskiewicz said, “We want the best students to know that a UNC-Chapel Hill education is a possibility for them.”