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Muhlenberg College admissions chief sees reasons for optimism after SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action

Muhlenberg College_Meg Ryan.jpg
Muhlenberg College
Meg Ryan, who oversees admissions and financial aid at Muhlenberg College.

Editor's note: WLVR's Brad Klein spoke with Megan Ryan, who oversees admissions and financial aid at Muhlenberg College, after the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — In a landmark ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court essentially put an end to the use of race in college admissions. It was a 6-3 decision. The case involved Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

But the decision will affect all of higher education, and perhaps far beyond.

  • The recent Supreme Court ruling put an end to affirmative action in college admissions
  • Megan Ryan, vice president for enrollment management at Muhlenberg College, said the college will not change its diversity goals
  • She spoke to WLVR's Brad Klein about the SCOTUS ruling

Megan Ryan is vice president for enrollment management at Muhlenberg College. She oversees admissions and financial aid.
In an interview after the ruling, Ryan said Muhlenberg College will not change its diversity goals and remains optimistic that the court’s recent decision will lead to approaches to diversity that could “move us forward faster and in different ways.”

The message from Ryan echoes that of many in higher education admissions. The court’s ruling will not change the diversity goals of Muhlenberg College, but will change how the school goes about meeting them.

Hope for new approaches to emerge

Ryan said that the court’s ruling was not unexpected.

“This isn't the first time that race conscious admissions practices have come before the Supreme Court," she said. "So it's something that in the college admissions landscape, we're often discussing. “

She said Muhlenberg currently has a "holistic" admissions policy, in which race is a factor, but never the only factor in admissions decisions.

The college also has goals in place to increase the diversity of its student body, Ryan said.

Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College

She said the school, whose student body has long been predominantly white, has made progress in meeting its diversity goals.

“In our two most recent classes that we've enrolled, we've had some of our most diverse classes, including over 26 percent of our current … first-year class are domestic students of color,” she said.

“We haven't exactly solved this problem."
Muhlenberg College Vice President for Enrollment Management Megan Ryan

Ryan said she sees reasons for optimism in the face of the changes that the Supreme Court’s ruling imposes on colleges such as Muhlenberg.

“We haven't exactly solved this problem,” she said, though she credits important incremental gains in diversity to the current system of "holistic admissions."

She said she remains hopeful that the approaches that will emerge from the court’s decision, “perhaps will move us forward faster and in different ways.”