precedent "makes clear that it is for the courts, not for university administrators, to ensure that" an admissions process is narrowly tailored. In 1996, in a case challenging affirmative action in the law school admissions program at UT, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the University of Texas violated the Equal Protection Clause in considering race in admissions decisions and that doing so did not further any compelling. They also were likely to have benefited from more challenging high school educations, and to judge by their admissions test scores often appeared to be among the academically strongest minority applicants. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandeis,., dissenting). In other words: Trust. 4 UT is apparently unconcerned that Asian-Americans "may be made to feel isolated or may be seen. 244 -led it to conclude that its prior race-neutral system did not reach its goal of providing the educational benefits of diversity to its undergraduate students. If racial isolation depends on a comparison to state demographics, then that student is more likely to feel isolated if the school is located in Mississippi (which.0 African-American) than if it is located in Montana (which.4 African-American). S., at 388 (Kennedy,., dissenting) 'Racial and ethnic distinctions of any sort are inherently suspect and thus call for the most exacting judicial examination' . UT "has not provided any concrete targets for admitting more minority students possessing the unique qualitative-diversity characteristics" it desires. Included in the number were the applicant's essays, leadership and work experience, extracurricular activities, community service, and other "special characteristics" that might give the admissions committee insight into a student's background.
In support of this argument, they cite only demographic data and anecdotal statements by UT officials that some students (we are not told how many) feel "isolated." This vague interest cannot possibly satisfy strict scrutiny. According to the appeals court, students who would not otherwise be admitted under the TTP were admitted under the holistic review process, including those with special talents beyond class rank and minorities with the experience of attending an integrated school with better educational resources. The test scores and grade point averages of white, Hispanic, and African American students admitted by the holistic review process were substantially higher than for those admitted under TTP. Those increases-of 54 percent and 94 percent, respectively-show that consideration of race has had a meaningful, if still limited, effect on the diversity of the University's freshman class. S., at _ (slip., at 9) "ng Parents Involved, 551. .
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Once, however, a university gives "a reasoned, principled explanation" for its decision, deference must be given "to the University's conclusion, based on its experience and expertise, that a diverse student body would serve its educational goals." Ibid. What is at stake is whether university administrators may justify systematic racial discrimination simply by asserting that such discrimination is necessary to achieve "the educational benefits of diversity without explaining-much less proving-why the discrimination is needed or how the discriminatory plan is well crafted. Until 1996, the University made its admissions decisions primarily based on a measure called "Academic Index" (or AI which it calculated by combining an applicant's SAT score enzymology research papers and academic performance in high school. In the wake of Grutter, the University embarked upon a year-long study seeking to ascertain whether its admissions policy was allowing it to provide "the educational benefits of a diverse student body. . Edu/admissions/ m; The University of Arizona, Office of Admissions, Frequently Asked Questions, online at izona. Petitioner Abigail Fisher, who was not in the top 10 of her high school class, was denied admission to the University's 2008 freshman class. Further, the dissent asserts that UT has never analyzed whether many of the minority students admitted under the TTP were students who had been in majority white schools and thus already added the experiences and achievement said to be accomplished by using race in the. It would stand to reason that at least the same percentages of African-American and Hispanic students would have been admitted through holistic review in 2008 even if race were not a factor. Wang, Pew Research Center, The Rise of Intermarriage (Feb. If the University had no reason to think that it could deviate from the Top Ten Percent Plan, it similarly had no reason to keep extensive data on the Plan or the students admitted under it-particularly in the years before Fisher I clarified the stringency.