By SEAN WARDWELL
Changes might be looming for Texas’ top ten percent law.
Currently, if a student places academically within the top ten percent of their peers, she is guaranteed admission to a public university in Texas. However, State Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) has filed SB 175, which would cap admission under this rule to 60 percent of incoming freshmen.
Texas State administrators are unsure what a change in the law would mean for enrollment.
“I think it’s unclear what the effect might be,” said Dr. Michael Heintze, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management. “We may wind up with a few more students in the top ten percent bracket.”
Texas State admitted 13 percent of its incoming freshmen under the ten percent law last year. The University of Texas (UT), however, admitted 81 percent of its incoming freshmen under the law in the same time period.
Student leaders are also watching the potential change.
“I think it’s something that’s necessary,” said Associated Student Government Vice President-elect Tommy Luna, talking about the proposed changes. “I know that a lot of people who have merit, but not necessarily grades, get penalized, and aren’t able to go to the schools they would like to attend.”
Said Student Body President-elect Chris Covo, “I think there are good sides and bad sides. If you’re a student that attends a (Class) 5A high school, and need to get a 110 average to be top ten, in opposition to someone that attends a school where they need an 85 (average) to be in the top ten, it doesn’t really make sense.”
Covo continued, saying, “What’s the bad side? Well, there are students that work very hard to be in that top ten.”
According to a report prepared by the House Research Organization (HRO) for the Texas House of Representatives, the most affected universities under this law are UT and Texas A&M.
However, in the same report, there was a marked increase in minority representation at UT. The 2003 freshman class was the first time in the school’s history where freshman Anglo student enrollment fell beneath 60 percent, while African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic enrollment all rose.
SB 175 has already passed in the state senate by a vote of 24-7. It has now been referred to the House Higher Education Committee.Email | Print