Texas A&M Shelves Pilot Enrollment Plan. (Noteworthy News)

Black Issues in Higher Education, March 28, 2002 | Go to article overview

Texas A&M Shelves Pilot Enrollment Plan. (Noteworthy News)


HOUSTON

Texas A&M University officials have delayed a plan to automatically admit the top 20 percent of graduating seniors from 250 Texas high schools because legal concerns have not been answered in time for admissions this fall.

"The thought is to not rush this thing and to be sure that if there is a program, it is well thought out and thorough," Scott Kelly, A&M's deputy general counsel, told the Houston Chronicle.

Kelly said A&M officials may significantly reduce the number of eligible schools to about 100 to try to give the proposal sounder legal and philosophical footing. Texas A&M officials have said they hope the plan will make the university more diverse.

In December, A&M regents unanimously approved a proposal for a pilot program to automatically admit the top 20 percent of graduating seniors from 250 Texas high schools that typically do not send many students to the flagship university (see Black Issues, Jan. 17). Under state law, the university would automatically admit the top 10 percent of students from other schools.

Since most of the 250 schools have predominantly minority enrollments, the proposal was criticized as a possible violation of the 1996 Hopwood decision that bans Texas universities from using race-conscious admissions preferences and scholarships.

Texas A&M officials denied that the program was based on race, saying the schools were chosen under criteria they claimed were allowed by the Hopwood decision, such as socioeconomic factors and the percentage of limited English speakers. …

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