UT Pushing to Change Top 10 Rule - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

UT Pushing to Change Top 10 Rule

UT President says school has lost control of admissions policy.

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    UT Pushing to Change Top 10 Rule
    Leaders at the University of Texas in Austin are calling for changes to the top 10 percent rule.

    The president of the University of Texas at Austin says the school has "lost control" of its admissions policy.

    William Powers called for changes to the law that guarantees automatic entry to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

    Powers says a record 81 percent of the Texas freshmen entering the university this fall gained admission through the so-called "top 10 percent rule."

    Powers says -- unless the 2009 Legislature changes the policy -- UT would soon have no room to admit any Texas student who does not meet that standard.

    Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, who serves on the Senate panel that oversees higher education, agreed Texas has a "capacity problem" but he said any modifications to the top 10 percent law should contain a "sunset provision" that ensures the Legislature could revisit admissions policy if it's not producing the intended results. West also said studies have shown that students admitted under the provision do better than those who aren't.

    "The top ten percent (rule) is working," West said.

    The automatic admissions law was adopted a decade ago after a federal appeals court decision made affirmative action illegal in Texas college admissions.

    The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 allowed universities to use race as one of many decision-making factors.