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Affirmative Action in College Admissions: Fisher v. UT-Austin

Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 01:44 PM

Fisher v TexasRuling expected any day now, Could dramatically  affect the admissions landscape as we know it

This week the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin, a case about affirmative action in college admissions that could change the way students are evaluated in the admissions process.

This is not the first case of this nature to come to the SCOTUS, but it does have the potential to change the status quo that has been established by prior cases. This week Dr. Kat wrote a piece for the Huffington Post regarding the case and what could happen should the court rule in favor, or against, the plaintiff, Abigail Fisher.

Here's what you need to know about the case:

  • Abigail Fisher applied to the University of Texas-Austin, her first-choice school, for admission in fall 2008. She was not admitted, and ultimately enrolled in, and graduated from, Louisiana State University.

  • The University of Texas-Austin uses the "Top Ten Plan," a program where the top 10% of each high school graduating class in the state is automatically admitted to the university.

  • Fisher was not part of the top 10% of her graduating class, thus her application was considered in the general applicant pool, which was very competitive. 

  • Fisher sued, arguing that she was not admitted because of her race, and that less qualified students were admitted because of race.

  • Ultimately, Fisher believes that UT's "Top Ten Plan" creates a diverse student body without the need for affirmative action, and that applicants with fewer merit-based qualifications than she had were admitted solely because of race.

This case has the potential to eliminate affirmative action from college admissions, and many experts seem to think that the court has a strong chance of ruling in favor of Fisher. If so, there are several ways that the college admissions process could change.

Read more about what possible outcomes there are in Dr. Kat's piece on Huffington Post!

What do you think about this case? Do you think affirmative action still has a place in college admissions? Or do you think it should be done away with? Let us know in the comments below!

IvyWise

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