Despite efforts to overturn the policy, affirmative action remains an essential element of higher education.
For more than 50 years, affirmative action has opened academic doors to those who have been historically excluded.
Earlier this month, Harvard lawyers delivered oral arguments before a three-judge panel, asserting the importance of a diverse academic environment.
Many legal experts believe the case will ultimately land before the Supreme Court, which may put an end to affirmative action at Harvard and many of its peer institutions.
This story about affirmative action was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.