Texas top 10% rule under debate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/09

Texas top 10% rule under debate

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Big changes are proposed in the Texas Senate for those headed to college. Right now Texas has what's commonly called the top 10% rule. It allows automatic admission to the state school of choice to students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class. That rule could soon go away because Texas Senators approved legislation to end it.

Some local high school students are for the change, others against, but they all agreed it would change the college admissions process for them. "I've worked real hard, haven't really played the GPA game, and I've taken upper level classes to try to make sure I stay in the top 10%," said Coronado High School junior, Pierce Harmon. He has always counted on getting into the state college of his choice because he is ranked in the top 10% of his class, an accomplishment that in recent years guaranteed admission.

"For those who work hard, and aren't necessarily good test takers, it's kind of a safety net," Harmon said. Now, with possible changes in state legislation, Harmon's safety net could disappear. "I'm disappointed, just cause I've had that as my back-up," he said. 

For other students, like Audrey Pillers, it could mean new opportunity. She just barely misses the top 10% cut off. "I'm right on the line, so it's difficult," she said. She hopes to apply to UT, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Pillars thinks getting rid of the automatic admission for others might help her get in. "I think it would because I think first off, the school should look at your application, and like the essays, and stuff that you write, so if they do do away with it, then I'll definitely make sure my applications and stuff are the best that they can be," said Pillers. 

The reform still faces a few more hurdles in the legislature before it becomes law, but if it passes schools could stop automatic acceptance as early as fall 2010. Under the Senate bill, once 60% of the class is filled by students in the top 10%, the rest will be admitted using several criteria.

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