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Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 7.45.20 AMOn Tuesday in a 2-1 decision, a federal appeals court ruled that the University of Texas at Austin can factor race into college admissions.

“To deny UT Austin its limited use of race in its search for holistic diversity would hobble the richness of the educational experience,” wrote Judge Patrick Higginbotham.

The case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, was brought on by student Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission at the school in 2008. Under the state’s top 10 percent plan, top high school graduates within the state are guaranteed a spot within its university system. Fisher was not in the top 10, so she had to compete with thousands of other applicants. Still, Fisher argued racial discrimination in favor of minority students with lower grades.

Fisher plans to appeal the ruling.

“It is disappointing that the judges hearing my case are not following the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer,” Fisher says in a statement. “I remain committed to continuing this lawsuit even it if means we appeal to the Supreme Court once again. It is a shame that for the last six years, hundreds of UT applicants were denied admission because of UT’s racial and ethnic preferences.

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