Major University Caught Discriminating With Financial Aid

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, University of Oklahoma students filed a class action lawsuit accusing the school of violating their rights under the equal protection clause by awarding financial aid to students based on race.

Logan Rhines, Brayden Johnson, and Kayla Savage, plaintiffs in the case and undergraduates at the University of Oklahoma claimed the University had prioritized racial diversity, especially among Black students through its “race-conscious” programs that started before enrollment and continued until graduation.

David Thompson, the attorney for the plaintiffs, declared in a statement that “Racial discrimination,” irrespective of its form, is “illegal and immoral,” adding that the lawsuit hopes to “vindicate that principle.”

Oklahoma University president Joseph Harroz, financial aid services director Courtney Henderson, chief enrollment officer Jeff Blahnik, and student engagement director Dorion Billups are named as defendants.

In 2023, following the Supreme Court upholding a ruling that race-based admissions violate equal-protection rights, leniency to such programs ended.

The lawsuit alleges that according to the University’s data, which it reported to the Department of Education (DOE) between 2009 and 2022, Black students receive more financial grants compared to students from other racial groups, even when “factors such as family income” are considered.

The lawsuit adds that these statistics provide “evidence of the extent of discrimination” rooted in the University’s “affirmative action policies” that favored Black students and harmed non-Black students.

The students, who identified as “White” or “non-Hispanic” when applying for grants, further allege that had it not been for the University’s “race-based financial aid decision making,” they would have been awarded more financial aid.

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