UT Admissions crunch

By: KXII Staff
By: KXII Staff

AUSTIN, TX -- Admissions at the University of Texas are getting tougher for students not in the top ten percent of their high school class. University president William Powers sent a letter to alumni saying about 30,000 students applied for the fall for 7200 spots.

They expect about 80 percent of the class will be students automatically admitted in the top 10 percent.

He expects the entire class will only be top ten percent students in two years. A state law requiring the mandatory admittance is designed to attract minority students, but Powers says it's not working.

Read the entire letter below:

Dear Friends,

Many of you have told me that you are concerned about the Top 10% Law and its effect on admissions at UT Austin. We're concluding the admissions cycle here on the 40 Acres, and I'd like to share some figures with you.

We received 29,626 applications for the fall 2008 freshman class. Our target enrollment for that class is 7,200. We have already admitted more than 9,100 Texas applicants who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class. Those figures clearly demonstrate the problem we face.

Of course, not all the Top 10% admitted students will attend UT. But we estimate that 81-85% of our freshmen from Texas high schools will be automatically admitted under the Top 10% Law, and it could reach 100% within the next two years. After all, last year's figure was 71%, so we've experienced a substantial increase in only 12 months.

The law penalizes many well-rounded students. Furthermore, we are unable to admit many students with extraordinary skills in music, art, mathematics, or leadership because we are required to select so many students according to a sole criterion, class rank.

When our children come to us and ask for advice, we properly tell them to do well in school, but also to be well rounded by getting involved in their community. Then when they want to come to UT, they find out only one thing matters. That's a terrible message to send to our young people.

In addition, only one in four of our top 10% students is Hispanic or African American. We are running out of room to recruit minority students who, for example, are in the 15th percentile and who have other indices of leadership.

We can do a better job diversifying our class if we have more flexibility. When the Top 10% Law was originally passed, about 41% of our Texas students came in under it. All we are asking is to return to that original model.

In testimony before the Legislature on many occasions, I have stated that if we granted automatic admission to half the freshman class and considered all admissions criteria for the other half, we could accomplish the goals of the Top 10% Law while building a diverse and well-rounded student body. In my travels across Texas, I will continue to try to educate the people of our state and our elected representatives about the effects of the Top 10% Law on educational opportunities at The University of Texas at Austin. I hope you will join me.

Thanks for all you do for the University.

Bill Powers
The University of Texas at Austin

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  • by Anonymous Location: Madill on Apr 7, 2008 at 02:20 PM
    WHere do you get that Most Students around here Dont go to College??? There are actually a large percentage that do go.... Maybe not to Ut Or Ou but we have Southeastern, ECU, Murray and plenty of other colleges that our students go to... Although a large majority cant afford schooling and cant get Help because all the NON-Workers get to use our tax money for themselves...
  • by Bob Location: Denison on Apr 7, 2008 at 10:14 AM
    Many high school students are in for a rude wakening once they graduate. They don't know it, but the motto of "success for every student" ends when they walk off the graduation platform.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 7, 2008 at 09:57 AM
    Really doesnt matter anyway, its not like a whole lot of students around here go to college anyways.Think they graduate high school and that is the greatest thing ever, then cant figure out why they cant get a high paying job
  • by ME Location: Denison on Apr 7, 2008 at 09:05 AM
    ...because UT is more important than OU.
  • by me Location: sherman on Apr 6, 2008 at 09:07 PM
    OU is closer than UT, why the news???
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