Harvard University’s admissions office does not discriminate against Asian-American applicants, a federal court has ruled in a long-awaited decision.
The judge rejected the claim that white, black and Hispanic applicants were given preference over Asian counterparts with similar grades.
District Judge Allison D. Burroughs said the court would not dismantle a “very fine” admissions program.
The trial has been seen as a referendum on affirmative action hiring practices.
An appeal of the ruling could still reach the US Supreme Court.
Harvard is one of the top-rated and most selective universities in the US, admitting about 1,600 freshman students out of 42,000 applicants each year.
What was Harvard accused of?
The lawsuit was brought by a group called Students For Fair Admissions (SFFA).
It was formed by conservative activist Edward Blum, who opposes affirmative action – the proactive effort to include minorities that have been historically marginalised due to discrimination.
It claims that the elite university unfairly weighs race when considering an applicant, forcing Asian-Americans to meet a higher bar in order to be accepted.