"Harvard will continue to vigorously defend its right, and that of all colleges and universities, to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court for more than 40 years", said Melodie Jackson, a spokeswoman for the university.
The court's most recent significant ruling on the subject bolstered colleges' use of race among many factors in the admission process.
Last year, Sessions announced that he was ending the practice of the Justice Department issuing "guidance documents" that have the "effect of adopting new regulatory requirements or amending the law" but do not go through the formal rulemaking process.
Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education, which represents college and university presidents, said he doubted schools would change admission policies based exclusively on Tuesday's announcement.
When an institution is taking an individual student's race into account in an admissions or selection process, it should conduct an individualized, holistic review of all applicants.
The guidance from the Obama administration gave schools a framework for "considering race to further the compelling interests in achieving diversity and avoiding racial isolation". He said it was appropriate for the administration to ditch policies that had encouraged schools to weigh race and ethnicity in deciding where students would be assigned or admitted.
This is yet another policy or decision from the administration of president Barack Obama overturned or rescinded by that of President Donald.
"I personally feel attacked", Fields said.
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"We're now looking at a post-Kennedy Supreme Court". The Trump administration signaled Tuesday that it planned to reinstate the Bush philosophy.
Blum said Tuesday the organization "welcomes any governmental actions that will eliminate racial classifications and preferences in college admissions".
At issue are a series of nonbinding guidelines, issued by the Education Department during the Obama administration, created to encourage schools to continue affirmative action policies in the face of legal restrictions and looming challenges.
Eight states already prohibit the use of information on race in public college admissions: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
The high court has been generally accepting of considering race in admissions decisions to achieve diversity.
None of the three directives have any legal bearing on what colleges and universities may or may not choose to do with regards to affirmative action in admissions.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over a series of cases that universities may use affirmative action to help minority applicants get into college. Justice Antonin Scalia died after the court heard arguments in the case but before the decision was handed down. However, the action does suggest that the federal government will be more willing to investigate complaints by applicants that they were denied entrance to a particular college due to their race, experts said.
The Justice Department will now promote what is called a "race-neutral" approach.