Mizzou complies with SCOTUS affirmative action ban, triggering supporters of race-based scholarships

Certain donors who want to keep scholarships restricted by race have voiced their disappointment over Mizzous's compliance with the Supreme Court decision.

The University of Missouri’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s 2023 decision to strike down affirmative action has upset some donors who are opposed to race-neutral, nondiscriminatory scholarships. 

After the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in college and university admissions, the school promptly adjusted its scholarships, eliminating race-based requirements.

Mizzou’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, however, has upset some donors who want to keep certain scholarships race-restricted and blocked to certain students on the basis of their race or ethnicity. 

[RELATED: At least Texas 131 college scholarships based on race, gender, or ethnicity have been frozen or modified because of DEI ban]

One donor, who supported a scholarship for African American medical students, told Inside Higher Ed that she was “pissed off” when notified by Mizzou that the scholarship must also be open to students of other races.

53 donors have not responded to Mizzou’s attempts to collaborate with them to make the scholarships nondiscriminatory, or have “disagreements” with the university regarding the mandate for race-neutral scholarships. 

Some students and alumni, however, disagree with the angry donors, expressing their support for race-neutral, merit-based scholarships. 

A former Mizzou student, Elizabeth Ward, told Campus Reform that “racially based scholarships are the backwards approach” when it comes to providing aid to students.

Ward explained how race-based scholarships “completely [discount] any and all achievements made by those students.”

“Scholarships based on a specific thing about you that [aren’t] merit based … are a touchy ethical problem,” she added.

[RELATED: University retracts race-based scholarship from 300 students after SCOTUS ruling, then reinstates]

“Our legal team did a thorough review and came to the conclusion that the laws that were interpreted by the Supreme Court for admissions also apply to scholarships and other financial aid programs,” Mizzou Spokesperson Christian Basi told Campus Reform.

“As we reviewed our endowed scholarships, we first attempted to contact all donors and had conversations with any who requested it,” Basi continued. “We continue to be open to having conversations with our donors as we know that these financial resources are important to our students.”