UPDATE: University removes application’s non-white race requirement following news report

By Alexa Schwerha, Campus Reform

The University of South Carolina changed the application requirements for its Business Success Academy shortly after a professor’s Title VI complaint followed a Campus Reform exclusive report.

Prior to the report, the program only accepted high school juniors or seniors who identified as “African American or Black, Hispanic, LatinX, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races.”

Now, the application has been revised to declare the program is “[open] to all Rising High School Juniors and Seniors in South Carolina.” However, the description implies priority will still be given to non-white students.

“Applicants who are in support of the advancement of business students from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply,” the application states.

The Business Success Academy will be held in June and is hosted by the Moore School of Business.  Students who complete the program will be eligible to receive a $5,000 renewable for up to four years upon enrollment to the school.

University of Michigan professor Mark Perry, who filed the complaint, told Campus Reform that the program was a “very clear violation of a very clear law.”

Campus Reform originally reported about the program’s racial exclusivity on May 3. The university deactivated the link soon after Perry’s report.

“Fortunately, the media attention and Title VI complaint motivated U of SC to immediately correct its Title VI violation before the illegal discrimination took place next month,” Perry said.

However, he said that the reversal raises “serious questions” including why the university was “so deficient” at enforcing federal civil rights law, if other programs have similar violations, and why the program was enacted given the school’s commitment to “equity and inclusion.”

“This is yet another example of how illegal discrimination in violation of Title VI and Title IX is so widespread and common in higher education that universities are either unaware they are violating federal civil rights laws or they are unconcerned about illegal discrimination when it advances some goal of social or racial justice,” Perry stated.

Campus Reform has contacted U of SC for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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