A long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case involving the University of Texas at Austin's race-based admissions policy is expected to have little impact in Oklahoma, state higher education officials said Monday.
In a 7-to-1 decision, the court vacated a lower court's ruling in favor of UT's race-conscious admissions policy, saying the court didn't apply the correct standards of scrutiny when considering whether the policy was constitutional.
The court ordered the federal appeals court in New Orleans to reconsider the case.
The case centers on Abigail Noel Fisher, a white woman who sued UT, saying she was unfairly denied admission to the university because the university considers race during the admissions process.
Fisher later enrolled at Louisiana State University, where she has since graduated.
In its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, the court ruled that universities may consider race among other admissions factors when the universities had a compelling interest in promoting diversity.
But unlike the embattled University of Texas, Oklahoma's public colleges and universities don't use race as a factor during the admissions process.
Officials say that practice prevents difficult questions and criticism regarding the way universities pick their incoming freshman classes.
At the University of Oklahoma
OU President David Boren said the university moved away from policies resembling a quota system several years ago.
The university uses a race-blind admissions policy that admits students based on a number of criteria, including test scores, high school GPA and course rigor.
OU recently adopted a holistic admissions policy that allows the university to admit students who might have been rejected under the university's automatic admissions requirements.