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Major Supreme Court rulings impact college students in Michigan

Posted at 10:04 AM, Jul 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-03 10:09:54-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on two big decisions that could impact past, present and future students at Michigan State and on college campuses across the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to revoke President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan has huge consequences in Michigan as it does across the nation. According to the White House, 566,000 of whom have already had fully-approved applications for discharges sent to loan servicers.

The court’s decision means, barring additional action by the Biden administration, those loans are now back in force.

Payments on most student loans were suspended back in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Furthermore, there are some arguments being made that the Biden administration could try to use other authority it has to cancel the student loans.

Legislation passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks effectively gives the secretary of the Department of Education the ability to “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs,” but it’s not yet clear that Biden wants to take that step.

As it stands, the department has said that student loan interest and payments would begin again 60 days after the court made a decision or June 30, whichever came first, meaning no later than Sept. 1.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled on affirmative action, striking down racial and ethnic preferences in college admissions.

Broadly speaking, affirmative action involves favoring applicants from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups as a part of the college admissions process.

The implications of this decision could have a significant impact on admissions because this ruling specifically bans race-conscious admissions in both public and private institutions of higher education

For universities in Michigan, including MSU, this ruling will not change the law as it relates to admissions because a statewide vote already banned affirmative action in Michigan's public universities in 2006.

In a response to the Supreme Court's ruling, Michigan State released the following statement.

"We are carefully reviewing the ruling but believe the decision by the court will not change our approach to recruiting and retaining a broad and diverse student body and creating opportunities for all students. MSU values diversity and inclusion. All Spartans benefit from a more diverse student body, faculty and staff, which better prepares our students for post-graduation success and makes a more inclusive and welcoming society. This academic year, we had our largest and one of our most diverse classes of first-year students, and we are building on that progress alongside our campus partners.”