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80 percent of class is from top ten percent

TexasmamaTexasmama Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
March 18, 2008 6:59 PM


UT President Bill Powers urges lawmakers to change Top 10 Percent Rule, says that his campus soon won't have the space to accommodate all of its high GPA applicants.

Four out of every five Texas high school students admitted to the incoming freshman class at UT-Austin got in via the Top 10 Percent Rule, meaning that university administrators have less discretion than ever to admit freshmen using other criteria, UT President Bill Powers told a House panel today.

He added that the proportion of freshmen admitted under the rule created a decade ago to promote diversity on Texas university campuses has increased year after year. This year’s 81 percent figure for admissions under the Top 10 Percent Rule is 10 points higher than last year, he said.

If current trends hold, the number of applicants from the top 10 percent of their class would reach 100 percent of a freshman class within a couple of years or so. The university would not have the space to accommodate them. Powers said today that he’s not sure what would happen then because the law establishing the rule doesn’t give universities discretion to turn down the applicants.

Lawmakers have talked for several years now about making changes to the Top 10 Percent Rule, which was created in the aftermath of the Hopwood decision that prevented the use of race as a factor in the decision to admit a student. The thinking was that setting aside slots for the highest ranking graduates of every Texas high school would increase diversity at the state’s most prestigious institutes of higher education. Indeed, those campuses have become more diverse since the implementation of the Top 10 Percent Rule. However, the U.S. Supreme Court in the intervening decade has given universities more flexibility in using race in their admissions policies. Powers argues that his university can now use those tools to accomplish the same goals that were to be accomplished by the Top 10 Percent Rule.

The figure given today by Powers to the House Higher Education Committee, though, was obviously intended to give new urgency to reform efforts. Legislation proposed last session to limit the number of automatic admissions based on class ranking did not pass the House after many rural lawmakers objected.

UT has been the campus most affected by the consequences of the Top 10 Percent Rule. At Texas A&M, 46 percent of the Texas high school graduates in the incoming freshman class were let in through the Top 10 Percent Rule, according to Texas A&M President Elsa Murano.

Simply put, high school graduates guaranteed admission under the rule are disproportionately choosing to attend UT. Powers said that his campus doesn’t have the space to accommodate all the top 10 percent graduates in the state. The incoming freshman class will number about 7,400, he said. The number of high school students graduating last June in the top 10 percent of their class was a little more than 24,000.

"We don’t have capacity for all of these students," he said.

Administrators need the discretion to admit well-rounded students who fall outside the top 10 percent of their class or to place students in music, architecture or geoscience programs. Those programs are having problems filling out their classes as more students enter UT via the Top 10 Percent Rule, Powers said.

He added that he was not advocating doing away with the Top 10 Percent Rule but was asking lawmakers to consider limiting the amount of automatic admissions to half of an incoming class as was contemplated in the bill last session on the topic.

He also emphasized his belief that the students admitted to UT under the Top 10 Percent Rule are capable of handling the academic workload. In the past, some have criticized the Top 10 Percent Rule for allowing students to enter school who weren’t academically prepared for the demands of studying at UT.

"They are good students," Powers said. "For us, it is a capacity problem."

ã Copyright March 18, 2008 by Harvey Kronberg, Harvey Kronberg's The Quorum Report, All rights are reserved

Thank you for your interest!
Post edited by Texasmama on

Replies to: 80 percent of class is from top ten percent

  • txreb1906txreb1906 Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Well that makes us non-top 10%ers feel real confident while waiting for decisions
  • crs1909crs1909 Registered User Posts: 1,217 Senior Member
    So is UT increasing the size of its incoming freshman class, or is it going to get to the point where UT is going to have incoming freshman classes that are 100% Texas residents?
  • kdm865kdm865 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    so us non-top ten percenters are just screwed? you would have thought they would have set cap before it got to this point.
  • bitesizeemmabitesizeemma Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    wow this really sucks. I'm starting to think I have a better chance of getting into BU rather than UT. if I get rejected because of this issue with the top 10% I'll be so ****ed.
  • foxshoxfoxshox Registered User Posts: 923 Member
    Yep looks like all you non-top-ten-percenters are screwed, I wasn't top 10 but back in my day( last year) they let in pretty much all applicants, this year they are letting in NOBODY! If your non top ten its essentially the same odds of you getting in MIT, have fun!
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    This really is another topic but:
    I am not sure how this affects out of state students.
    Hasn't UT been pretty consistently around 5% out of state and 5% international?
    Is this changing?
  • thelonerangertheloneranger Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    Well there will be roughly 7500 entering freshmen. There is roughly a 60% yield at UT. So that means that roughly 12,500 were admitted. 80 percent were top ten. So that means that 10,000 admitted students are top ten kids and 2500 are not top-ten or are out-of-state. The total admission percentage has been just under half, so that means that about 25,000 kids applied. If you take out the top ten kids, that means that 15,000 non-top ten kids applied for 2500 spots, or an acceptance rate of 1/6, or just under 17%.

    It is now officially harder to get in to UT from outside the top ten than it is to get in to half of the Ivy league.

    If you get in, pat yourself on the back. It's quite an accomplishment.
  • ag54ag54 Registered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    you would have thought they would have set cap before it got to this point

    You'd have to talk to your (if you're a Texan) state representative about that. The admissions department has NO control over setting a cap or limiting the number of top 10%ers who are admitted - that's a state LAW set by our wonderful legislature.
  • thelonerangertheloneranger Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    AND our wonderful legislature will not change the law due to tremendous pressure from their constitutents.

    The suburban reps whose constituents are hurt by the law are outnumbered by the urban Democrats and rural Republicans whose kids are helped out. It's about the only thing they work together on.

    I think that the law has a great intent, but when it was written no one expected the effect it would have. It was actually UT's policy BEFORE the law to admit all top ten kids. However, I think that they would have changed this policy by now.

    The law needs adjustment, but won't be adjusted. In 2-3 years, UT will be entirely top ten Texas kids (and the Lege won't care).
  • lalalexi08lalalexi08 Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Yeah I think it's imperative that they change it. I mean hey, I can't really complain about the law since I WAS a top 10%er myself and UT was my number one choice. But it DOES seem extremely unfair NOW. Back in the day when it was implemented, I'm sure it was a great idea, but UT's becoming more popular and young America is growing substantially. Watch. The law will change. Maybe not soon soon, but it will change.
  • MagicMan522MagicMan522 Registered User Posts: 250 Junior Member
    It has to be changed, if it doesn't that would mean in a few years not only will 100% be top 10 but 110% of the admissions are top ten. UT will be overcrowded with no way of doing anything.
  • thelonerangertheloneranger Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    It will get to the point that they start assigning top ten kids to Summer Freshman Class and telling them to wait until the spring.

    The law doesn't say they have to be admitted for the fall, just admitted.
  • WoswillWoswill Registered User Posts: 153 Junior Member
    It is now officially harder to get in to UT from outside the top ten than it is to get in to half of the Ivy league.

    If you get in, pat yourself on the back. It's quite an accomplishment.

    My friend was like ~20th percentile or w/e at my school and ~1000ish (no higher than 1050, no lower than 1000) CR+M and he got in.... in art school though
  • thelonerangertheloneranger Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    Yeah that doesn't count.
  • bomchikawawabomchikawawa Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    sooo do u think they are gonna change it for the ppl applying for Fall 09?
    because that would be nice =)

    p.s. we use to live in San Antonio and are military (retired)
    if we bought our house before the school year started would that make me in state for tuition purposes? ( i know theres a 90 living period rule)
This discussion has been closed.