More Than 100 Scholarships on Hold at Texas Universities Due to DEI Ban

Schools are freezing and modifying diversity scholarships after Texas' anti-DEI law went into effect.
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Published on June 26, 2024
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  • Senate Bill 17, which took effect Jan. 1, 2024, banned DEI offices and initiatives at public universities and colleges in Texas.
  • As a result, minority and race-based scholarships at Texas institutions have been paused to ensure compliance with the new law.
  • Missouri and Ohio also paused or eliminated minority scholarship offerings to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmative action ban and their state's interpretation of it.

Scholarships intended for minority students at public colleges and universities in Texas are currently frozen or being amended amid the state's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ban.

Last June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 17 into law, effectively banning DEI offices, diversity training for students and employees, and ideological oaths and statements at public institutions.

The bill additionally put an end to differential treatment or special benefits for individuals at Texas colleges based on race or ethnicity.

Since SB 17 went into effect on Jan. 1, at least 131 scholarships have been modified or put on hold to comply with the new law, according to The Dallas Morning News.

This includes 80 scholarships across the Texas A&M University System, 45 scholarships across the University of Texas System, and six scholarships at three other public institutions.

For some scholarships, changes were as simple as removing the word diversity or minority from the title. But in other cases, the entire purpose of a scholarship was altered to meet compliance standards.

Several institutions across the state have also closed their DEI offices and laid off staff in DEI-related positions.

Texas is just one of many states whose public institutions have been impacted by anti-DEI legislation and the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmative action ban. In Missouri, the University of Missouri System has recently moved to reallocate funds previously gifted for race-based scholarships.

And in Ohio, after Ohio University announced it would be pausing some of its scholarships to ensure they comply with the court's 2023 ruling, the state's attorney general determined race-based scholarships were unconstitutional.

As of June 2024, at least 10 states have had anti-DEI legislation at public colleges and universities go into effect.