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Ohio University announced Monday that it was “temporarily pausing” race-based diversity scholarships in light of last summer’s Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action, according to a statement from the university. 

“We are temporarily pausing the awarding of impacted scholarships, which represent a small but important subset of our annual awards, as we contemplate any necessary revisions,” the statement said. “Scholarships already awarded to current students are not impacted by this review. Current students will continue to receive renewable scholarships if they meet the renewal criteria.”

Ohio State University is also reassessing its race-based scholarships and is currently “updating scholarship criteria to ensure compliance with the law,” according to a recent post on the university website.

Officials said the decision is the result of a review process launched after the ruling in June. The day after the Supreme Court handed down its decision, Ohio attorney general Dave Yost sent a memo encouraging all public colleges to carefully review their admissions policies and practices to avoid falling out of compliance, adding that employees would be held personally liable if they were sued over the issue. 

In a Jan. 26 call with Ohio universities, Yost’s spokesperson, Beth McCorkle, clarified that the attorney general was referring to scholarships as well. 

“Although the court did not expressly prohibit race-based scholarships, it indicated that ‘eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,’” she said. “Race-based scholarships discriminate on the basis of race in awarding benefits. Therefore, it would follow that such programs are unconstitutional.”

Missouri’s attorney general issued a similar proclamation last summer, prompting the University of Missouri to end its use of race-based criteria for scholarships and grants.

The debate over whether the affirmative action decision prohibits racial considerations in scholarship awards as well as admissions has been contentious. Some, like Yost and Students for Fair Admissions president Ed Blum, believe it should extend to financial awards, but many in higher ed believe that interpretation is a stretch that threatens to unnecessarily enshrine broad practical implications for the ruling beyond admissions.