In an attempt to attain diversity, the University of Texas system replaced an earlier admissions plan which had explicitly considered race with a “Personal Achievement Index” (PAI). The PAI is produced through a holistic review of applications intended to identify students whose achievements are not accurately reflected by their test scores and grades alone. The PAI includes an evaluation of required written essays and a “personal achievement score,” which is made up of factors such as socio-economic status, languages at home, and whether the student lives in a single-parent household. In addition, the state legislature and the university adopted a variety of other initiatives to increase diversity.
The AAUP filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit in support of the UT system. Specifically, the brief focused on the benefits of a diverse student body and pointed out that the University of Texas specifically modeled its admissions policy on a similar policy endorsed by the Supreme Court.