It's an issue that has come up repeatedly over the last few decades: Should colleges be allowed to consider race in any part of the admissions process?
The U.S. Supreme Court is once again faced with the question as a white woman from Texas, now 22, pursues her case again the University of Texas at Austin, which rejected her application four years ago, according to the New York Times.
“I’m hoping,” Abigail Fisher told the Times, “that they’ll completely take race out of the issue in terms of admissions and that everyone will be able to get into any school that they want no matter what race they are but solely based on their merit and if they work hard for it.”
The university says Fisher would not have been admitted regardless of race, but it also says — as do most colleges and universities — that part of its mission is to create a diverse student body that addresses disparities among high schools and allows students from differing backgrounds to learn from each other.
The last similar case decided by the Supreme Court in 2003 supported the use of race as one factor in admissions, the Times said.
The court that hears Fisher's case on Wednesday, however, has a different dynamic. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wrote the majority opinion in the 2003 case, retired in 2006. She was replaced by Justice Samuel Alito Jr., who could view the case very differently.
Should race ever be a factor in college admissions? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.