University of North Dakota Law School – Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver

Case Particulars


Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education

Date Filed

November 7, 2023

Docket No.


Case Status

OCR Complaint Filed

Case Overview

University of North Dakota School of Law had a racially discriminatory program program that reduced tuition for specific racial and ethnic groups “in order to encourage racial and ethnic diversity within [its] student body.”


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 law school created, implemented and promoted a program called the Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver providing partial waivers of eligible undergraduate students’ tuition. Only students who were “African American/Black,” “Alaska Native,” “Asian/Asian American,” “Hawaiian Native/Other Pacific Islander,” “Hispanic/Latino,” “Native American/American Indian” or “Multiracial/Multiethnic” 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.