Four white students whose lawsuit brought federal court rulings banning affirmative action policies at Texas universities have lost their bid for millions in damages.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks denied their request for more than $5 million in damages and admission to the University of Texas law school.Instead, he granted them $1 each plus about $776,000 for attorneys' fees, court costs and interest, to be paid by the university.

The lawsuit - in what became known as the "Hopwood case" for plaintiff Cheryl Hopwood - alleged that the law school's admissions policy discriminated against whites. The school had set low test-score standards for black and Hispanic applicants in an effort to boost enrollment from those groups.

A trial judge and a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and the appeals court also ruled that a landmark 1978 Supreme Court decision allowing the use of race or national origin as one factor in college admissions was no longer good law.

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the ruling to stand.