Purdue and Indiana universities are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to tread lightly in how it reviews affirmative action on college campuses.
The court is deliberating whether race should continue as a factor in college admissions or be struck down, a change that could alter the makeup of colleges across the country, higher education experts said.
A decision is not expected until spring, but if the court reverses a 2003 landmark case that endorsed the use of race as a factor at a Michigan college, it could affect the demographics of future freshman classes, said Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council of Education.
"If the Supreme Court would declare that the Michigan case was wrong, that would make most institutions, like IU and Purdue, forbidden to use race as one the facts they consider in the holistic review of many factors for admissions," she said.
How that would directly affect Indiana's higher education landscape is unclear.