The University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus will stop considering applicants' race and ties to alumni after this summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling drew renewed attention to both practices.

"Every year, we review our undergraduate admissions practices at the University of Minnesota to ensure that we are only asking for information necessary to make good admissions decisions," said Keri Risic, executive director of admissions. "This year was an exceptionally deep review of our context factors."

Admissions officers working on the U's Twin Cities campus, which typically enrolls about 55,000 students, say they have long used a "holistic review" process that places the greatest weight on an applicant's academic track record. But it also allowed them to report 10 additional attributes that were sometimes used to distinguish between otherwise similar candidates.

The university announced late last week that it would stop considering an applicant's race, ethnicity or ties to U alumni or faculty — though it would still ask "for this optional information for recruitment and communication purposes about programs and services offered."

Undergraduate student government leaders said Tuesday that they welcomed the effort to eliminate legacy admissions, noting some other colleges had already done so. But they wanted to know more about the plan to stop considering race and ethnicity, saying they believe it's crucial to have a diverse campus.

"Part of it is the university is constrained by the court ruling. There is really only so much an institution can do," said Carter Yost, government and legislative affairs director for the undergraduate student government.

The announcement came just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended decades-old affirmative action policies by restricting colleges' ability to consider race in their admissions decisions.

The ruling came at a precarious time for higher education institutions. Recruiting is becoming more difficult as the pool of prospective students shrinks, due in part to changes in birth rates more than a decade ago. At the same time, the pool of students is also becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

By 2036, about 40% of Minnesota public high school graduates will be people of color, up from about a third today, according to projections by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, a nonprofit that works with colleges and universities.

The 6-3 high court ruling stemmed from a pair of lawsuits challenging admissions practices at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The majority of justices ruled that the universities' procedures violated the Constitution because they "lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points."

Justices on both sides also criticized legacy admissions procedures — which give a boost to children of alumni or donors — noting that they disproportionately benefit white applicants.

Like other colleges across the country, the U had spent months preparing for the ruling. Risic said the campus has "adjusted our practice to no longer consider race and ethnicity." Admissions officers also decided to stop considering an applicant's relationship to U alumni or faculty.

"It was not adding additional insight into enrolling academically prepared students," Risic said, adding that the data was more helpful for telling which of the admitted students are more likely to enroll.

The U previously said that it does not collect data on admitted students' ties to donors.

It's difficult to tell what impact the changes might have on the admissions process. The Twin Cities campus admits nearly 75% of people who apply to be undergraduates. Data showing the number of applicants who report relationships with alumni or faculty weren't immediately available. While the U has in recent years touted some of its most racially diverse freshman classes, it's difficult to attribute any student's admittance to race alone.

"It's important to note that no single factor is the deciding factor in the admission decision," Risic said.