Many universities consider race and ethnicity during their application process, but that may no longer be allowed.
The decision lies in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Wednesday.
Abigail Fisher, a former University of Texas applicant, is suing the school claiming they rejected her for being white.
She’s saying that schools should not be allowed to practice affirmative action -– a method to use racial preferences to promote student diversity.
Courtney McAnuff, vice president for enrollment management at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says his university considers race but only as a last resort.
He says that forbidding schools to consider racial demographics could have a large effect on public universities.
“I don’t think it would make [the admissions process] more difficult,” he said. “But I do think it would, in fact, cause fewer students of color to attend. Certainly, it would be a detriment to higher education.”
Supporters of University of Texas say it’s important for schools to create and maintain a diverse learning environment.
Opponents call it discrimination.
Since Justice Elena Kagan will not be participating in this case, if there is a 4-4 tie, the University of Texas will win.
The court is expected to issue a verdict in spring.