Federal judge overturns revised Jefferson admissions process


Image courtesy of Annandale Chamber of Commerce

Claire Wilson, Staff Writer

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ruled that the revised Jefferson admissions process is illegal on Friday, Feb. 25. According to Hilton, the new admissions process was intended to balance the racial composition of the student body, calling into question its legality. Judge Hilton found that the admissions changes were “motivated by a racial purpose” and, as such, did not meet the legal standard of “strict scrutiny” required for government policies with “disparate racial impact”, as he wrote in the official decision.

The ruling prevents FCPS from using this admissions process for future admissions cycles. It is unknown whether the ruling will call into question the admissions decisions for the Class of 2026, which have yet to be released.

The new admissions process was adopted in fall 2020 and eliminated the testing portion and the application fee. However, in March 2021, the Coalition of TJ filed a lawsuit against the FCPS school board, claiming that these changes were discriminatory against Asian American students. 

The school board is considering an appeal of Hilton’s ruling.