Harvard College Changes Admission Essay Rules responding to the Ban on Affirmative Action

Affirmative action in college applications is now considered unconstitutional, in response to which Harvard College revamped its admission essay requirements. Earlier, Harvard supplemented optional essays, wherein an individual needed to compose an essay on a topic of their choice.

In a statement published on the official Harvard College website, the new admission essay guidelines emphasise a holistic evaluation of candidates that encompasses race and ethnicity. While handling the legal restrictions imposed by the moratorium, the institution affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

After the declaration of law, long-answer questions have been replaced by short-answer questions. Earlier, there were three optional writing sections, each consisting of a 150-word answer. Now, there are five short question answers, the total length of which is 200 words.

The following are updated prompts for brief Harvard College essays:

  • Describe a brief intellectual encounter in your life.
  • Three things about you that your roommate can find interesting
  • What are your plans regarding your Harvard College education?
  • Give a brief about any extracurricular activity, travel, or career history that contributed to your becoming who you are.
  • Harvard has always emphasised the importance of diversity in its student body. Based on the experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today, what contributions can you make to the college?

In response to the ongoing debate around affirmative action in higher education, the college has revised its admission essay requirements. The supporters of the policy contend that it addresses historical inequalities and promotes campus diversity. However, critics argue that such rules can lead to reverse discrimination and may not always result in an admissions process that is genuinely merit-based.

In response to shifting legal dynamics and societal expectations, many universities are reviewing their admissions policies and procedures to ensure they are both fair and legally sound. These changes represent a comprehensive reevaluation of the function of affirmative action in higher education.

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