This has been the subject of numerous lawsuits and attempts to set down objective laws.
Officially there's no mandate to discriminate against anyone. However, most colleges and universities consider race and gender in admissions. As such, it produces unequal treatment. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that was OK
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the consideration of race in college admissions, rejecting a white woman's challenge to a University of Texas program designed to boost the enrollment of minority students.
The ruling ended an eight-year legal challenge to the affirmative action admissions system used by the University of Texas at Austin brought by Abigail Fisher, who was denied a place in 2008.
In the Texas case, the challengers had failed to show that the university could have met its needs with another process, he said. Kennedy noted that the school "tried and failed to increase diversity" through other race-neutral means.
The other major part of this is Title IX funding. In theory, it simply mandates that schools that accept Federal funding be equal in gendered actions. Most of the friction here is over sports. There has to be an equal treatment of genders in sports (proportional to the gender breakdown of the student body), but there's a difference of opinion in how equal it has to be and what constitutes a sport. A federal lawsuit resulted in cheerleading being disqualified as a sport
In a decision released Tuesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that competitive cheerleading does not yet meet the standards of a varsity sport under Title IX, the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in education and athletics.
As a result of the rules, many schools have opted to cut lesser men's sports (like volleyball, lacrosse, etc) in favor of major sports like American football, which is a profit center for most colleges that participate in Division 1 (where the events are often televised and the schools get a cut).
The Obama administration took this further. They argued that Title IX did not define what "sex" meant, and, as such, could include transgendered students. The Trump administration has since rescinded this guidance, however it is likely that future administrations will pick this back up.