Top 10 percent law discouraging

Texas legislators are considering suspending the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions regulations for an unspecified number of years, according to a Sept. 18 article published by insidehighered.com, a Web site pertaining to higher education news.Specifically, the change would do away with the uniform admission law, better known as the top 10 percent law. The law specifies that Texas high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their classes are automatically accepted and guaranteed places in the Texas public universities or colleges of their choices.

The moratorium would apply only to UT Austin.

According to the article, the 1997 law was passed to give students at traditionally underperforming high schools a chance to get into the system and to help ensure campuses remain ethnically and racially diverse.

While successful at creating a diverse campus, the law has also created drawbacks at UT Austin.

The school’s prestige and size has put constraints and limitations on freshman classes, limiting the admissions of students who are not guaranteed spots by Texas law.

The law is fair and sets a goal for higher education, but it’s discouraging to high school students who are talented and intelligent but not in the top 10 percent of their classes. The moratorium would level the playing field for all students who apply to UT Austin.

Students across the board, in state and out, would be subject to the same criteria as students who do not currently fall in the 10 percent rule. The moratorium will let UT Austin serve as a test site to see whether the intent of the law can be accomplished in Texas without the undue problems it has foisted into UT.

-Ryan Claunch for the editorial board