Fate of Affirmative Action to be Decided by Supreme CourtBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The fate of affirmative action considered during admission process in public universities will depend upon the Supreme Court's verdict on Fisher v. University of Texas court case.
The announcement will be made in the next few months whether to scrap the entire action or decide on an acceptable level of diversity without using racial preferences.
The decision will be applicable only to publicly funded universities.
The relevance of affirmative action was challenged by Abigail Fisher after she was denied admission by the University of Texas (UT) in 2008 because she was white.
UT's decision violates the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law.
However, UT alleged that Fisher was denied admission because she did not qualify the cut off marks.
Later, she enrolled in Louisiana State University and sued UT for favoring minority students with lesser credentials.
Ms. Fisher, 22, recently graduated from LSU.
"This policy was needed in the past, but not anymore," Alexandra Ofori-Atta, an African-American freshman at Loyola University told Medill. "I would rather be chosen for my skills rather than my skin color."
"Every student should be accepted on merit alone," Prachi Tiwari, an international graduate student at Loyola University told the newspaper. "It would be nice to think that I got in because of me and not to fill a certain quota."
At University of Texas, once the students get selected through top 10 percent law, admissions for the other students involve academic and personal achievement factors. The Academic Index features test scores and high school class rank, while the Personal Achievement Index considers the applicant's essays, leadership abilities, awards and honors, work experience, extracurricular activities, socioeconomic status, family status and race.
However, certain sections of the society feel that removal of the affirmative action can pose a grave danger to minorities' education.
Gaby Lopez, a fifth year student at UIC told the newspaper that affirmative action is required in education institutions to provide access to minorities.
David Embrick, associate professor of sociology and expert in race studies at Loyola University, told the newspaper that without affirmative action, racial discrimination will be evident in universities.
Affirmative action was first established in 1960s for a fair and unbiased admission process. Universities across the country incorporated this law to welcome diversity and create a healthy learning environment.
Fisher hopes that the universities will completely take race out of the admissions and that everyone will be able to get into any school based solely on their merit.
"I probably would have gotten a better job offer had I gone to UT," Fisher told New York Times.