• Court Upholds University’s Use of Affirmative Action in Admissions Policies

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    July 23, 2014

    Noting that the University of Texas at Austin’s use of affirmative action is “narrowly tailored” and there are no other practical ways to increase diversity, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, 2-1, that the university can continue using affirmative action in its admission practices.

    In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Abigail Fisher, a white female from Texas, filed a lawsuit in 2008 alleging the University of Texas at Austin denied her admission because of her race.

    Fisher fell outside of Texas’ “Top 10 Percent” rule, which automatically grants admission to schools in the University of Texas system to any student finishing in the top 10 percent of his or her high school class. This law was adopted in 1996 and is intended to increase minority enrollment.

    After accepting student applicants from the top 10 percent of their high school classes, the remaining slots are filled through an application process that considers the applicant’s race as a factor in the admissions decision.

    The U.S. Supreme Court had remanded Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin in June 2013.