Students, Grads React on TikTok to the Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action at colleges, TikTokers are sharing how they benefited from the policy and criticizing the decision.
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Jessica Bryant
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Jessica Bryant is a higher education analyst and senior data reporter for BestColleges. She covers higher education trends and data, focusing on issues impacting underserved students. She has a BA in journalism and previously worked with the South Fl...
Published on July 7, 2023
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  • The U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action at colleges and universities on June 29.
  • Since the ruling, recent students and graduates have shared TikTok videos expressing their outrage at the changed policy.
  • Students have increasingly expressed mistrust in the Supreme Court, with only 34% believing they would make an appropriate decision regarding affirmative action.

College students and graduates have turned to TikTok to express their frustrations with the U.S. Supreme Court after the court's latest decision overturned 45 years of legal precedent.

On June 29, the court put an end to race-conscious admissions practices in higher education, which began in the late 1960s in an effort to diversify student populations.

Now, institutions cannot use race as a consideration in the admissions process and will have to find other ways to increase diversity on campuses.

Young people quickly shared their thoughts on the striking decision through a series of videos.

While some made jokes about how the decision will not increase fairness in college admissions — specifically taking aim at legacy admissions practices — others shared personal stories about how they have benefited from affirmative action policies while pursuing further education.

@carol.ine3 #supremecourt #college ♬ original sound - Caroline Timoney
@leleda i cant imagine the level of uncertainty current high schoolers must be feeling, if you hv questions my dms are always open #affirmativeaction ♬ original sound - leleda
@cohen489 #fyp #scotus #affirmativeaction ♬ original sound - Rachel

Some students and graduates even took aim at their peers who have questioned their credentials and acceptance into top schools.


and theyll still blame us because anything a BLACK person has that they don’t is unfair and rigged

♬ original sound - user8979379369628

Affirmative Action is gone.

♬ original sound - Whitney Alese
@sydnirei2.0 getting rid of affirmative action isnt gonna be the dunk you think it is #scotus #affirmativeaction #supremecourt #blacktok #ivyleague ♬ original sound - Sydni Rei Scott

This isn't the first time the public has taken to TikTok to share disappointment over the Supreme Court's recent decisions.

Students and graduates expressed similar outrage on social media just one year ago when the court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that gave all people who can become pregnant the right to an abortion.

Over the last few years, a growing number of young people have expressed a decreased sense of trust in the Supreme Court.

In a fall 2022 BestColleges survey of 1,000 current undergraduate and graduate students, only about 1 in 3 (34%) said they trusted that the court would make the right decision on affirmative action.

In a BestColleges survey just a few months prior, 36% of current and prospective students said they were confident in the Supreme Court as an institution. But a slightly larger percentage (39%) were not.

Young people on TikTok continue to share similar sentiments.

@kaiwilliams03 Why r we going backwards #fyp #affirmativeaction #supremecourt #roevwade ♬ original sound

Regardless of the Supreme Court's recent decision, the majority of current students in a BestColleges survey do not support recent legislative efforts to limit diversity, equity, and inclusion on campuses and believe racial and ethnic diversity improves their learning environment.

Further, less than a quarter of students think the college admissions process as it currently stands is fair, and more than 2 in 5 students (44%) think schools should take steps to help underserved populations pursue higher education, according to a BestColleges survey.