From the time she was just a little girl, Abigail Fisher knew where she wanted to go to college. When it came time to follow in her dad and sister's footsteps, all she got after applying to the University of Texas was a big, fat "NO".
Fisher believes UT's refusal came down to the color of her skin.
"I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong," Fisher said in a YouTube interview. "For an institution of higher learning to act that way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does that set for others?"
The young white woman's plight has morphed into a much bigger question: Does using race-based affirmative action help colleges like UT get a more diverse student body or is it reverse discrimination, keeping someone out because of their skin color?
Some fear a ruling against UT would be a major setback for affirmative action.
"And are hopeful that the court will not in effect turn back the clock on racial equality and adversity in this country," Al Sharpton said.
"We hope that the University of Texas prevails as they seek to make this a more perfect union," Jesse Jackson said.
In its brief to the Supreme Court, UT maintains even if race had worked in Fisher's favor, she still wouldn't have been admitted given the stiff competition and small number of openings.
"For several decades, the University of Texas has strived to bring the benefits of diversity to our students, to our school, to higher education and to the state of Texas," UT President Bill Powers said.