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Title VI: North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC) OCR Complaint No. 11-04-2009

On November 27, 2012, OCR closed a complaint against North Carolina State University alleging that the University’s consideration of race and national origin as factors in admissions in its undergraduate classes violates Title VI. Under Title VI, strict scrutiny review is applied to the use of an individual’s race in admissions in federally assisted programs. Under the strict scrutiny standard of review, the recipient must have a compelling interest for using race and its use of race must be narrowly tailored to that interest. OCR stated that the University has a compelling interest in achieving the educational benefits of diversity, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice in the Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Postsecondary Education. OCR also found that the admissions process met the second requirement of strict scrutiny: narrow tailoring. As part of its narrow tailoring analysis, OCR stated that under Title VI, a recipient has academic discretion to decide on admissions criteria, including how test scores will be used. SAT scores are not a decisive admissions factor in the University’s process, and the gaps in and of themselves do not establish that race is the predominant factor.  

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Last Modified: 11/19/2013