Texas Considers Bill to Cap College Admits under Top 10 Percent Plan
April 1, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The Texas House of Representatives is considering a bill that would cap the number of students accepted into state universities under the state's "top 10 percent plan."
In 1997, the Texas legislature passed a law that requires Texas state universities to automatically admit Texas students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
The current bill, which passed in the Senate last week, will still require state universities to admit students under the plan, but it will allow them to cap these admissions at 60 percent of the incoming freshman class.
Some college administrators support the bill because it will give them more flexibility in admissions. However, if passed, the bill will mostly affect the University of Texas-Austin, which estimates that almost 90 percent of its incoming freshmen class next year will be admitted under the plan.
Originally intended to address the decline in minority enrollment and create equal opportunity for students from both inner-city and rural schools, the "top 10 percent plan" was enacted after a federal appeals court decision in Hopwood v. Texas banned equal opportunity programs in Texas. However, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, stated that race can be used as one of many factors in college admissions, invalidating Hopwood.