Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education
November 4, 2023
OCR Complaint Filed
University of North Dakota (“UND”) had a racially discriminatory program program that reduced tuition for specific racial and ethnic groups for the purpose of achieving a “diverse student population.”
In 2021, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education promulgated a policy that institutions of higher education in the state would be “encouraged” to “provide for … [a] waiver of tuition and fees …. to promote enrollment of a culturally diverse student body.” Based on this authority, the university created, implemented and promoted a program called the Cultural Diversity Waiver that reduced eligible undergraduate students’ tuition by up to $2,750 per semester, or $5,500 per academic year. Only students who were “African American/Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino/a/x, Hispanic American or Multiracial” were eligible for the program. As such, CDW program was only available to non-white applicants.
Equal Protection Project is the Complainant in this matter, which is under evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.