Dear Friends, (Message From University of Texas Austin President Bill Powers)
>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.
>The University of Texas at Austin