Trump administration officials argue that those recommendations are misleading, making it seem as if it's easier to achieve a legal form of affirmative action than it actually is. "Taking away that guidance undermines the steps toward equity school communities have always been taking".
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement also threatens the practice of affirmative action. The president has said he will name his pick for Kennedy's replacement on Monday.
The Justice Department under Trump has been investigating a complaint by more than 60 Asian-American organisations that say Harvard University's policies are discriminatory because they limit the acceptance of Asian-Americans.
The rules under Obama, a Democrat, were issued by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. "It would be wise to consider if their use of race is likely to be something that the courts of the future will be likely to uphold", Clegg said.
Eight states already prohibit the use of information on race in public college admissions: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. Some want more first-generation college students. The Education Department's action forecasts how much is at stake in the upcoming Supreme Court nomination process.
These types of non-binding directives have been a popular tool for administrations to weigh in on the issue of affirmative action on campus.
The impact on college practices remains to be seen.
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement that the Supreme Court's written decisions are a better source of information for navigating questions about affirmative action policies. "We still have all of the Supreme Court rulings that would influence how we handle this". "It happens all the time across administrative units". Blum said Tuesday the organization "welcomes any governmental actions that will eliminate racial classifications and preferences in college admissions".
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.
Revoking the Obama-era guidance on affirmative action could affect elementary and secondary schools that have grappled with racial imbalances.
The Supreme Court has been generally accepting of considering race in admissions decisions. It confused school officials, who anxious that their policies for assigning students ran afoul of the law.
The Trump administration's announcement is more in line with Bush-era policy that discouraged affirmative action and instead encouraged the use of race-neutral alternatives, like percentage plans and economic diversity programs.
The new policy dramatically departs from the stance of the Obama administration, which on multiple occasions said schools could consider race in admissions decisions and should do so to foster diversity. That guidance also cautioned school officials that they should be careful when using race and that they could do so only in limited circumstances. Those districts will no longer be able to rely on the Education Department, she said, to help them craft a policy that complies with the Supreme Court's decision.