Senate Extends Top 10 Cap

Senate Extends Top 10 Percent Cap

The Texas Senate has endorsed a measure that would extend an existing cap on automatic admissions to UT-Austin, and protect the cap against potential fallout from the Fisher v. University of Texas case. The upper chamber voted 25-6 in favor of Senate Bill 1530 Tuesday, which limits admissions under the Top 10 Percent law to 75 percent of an incoming class through the 2017-2018 school year.

Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), chair of the Senate higher education committee, wrote the bill. A previous measure, passed by the Legislature in 2009, was set to expire in the 2015-2016 school year, and contained a provision that a court ruling against the use of race in admissions would nullify the cap. The new extension removes that provision in light of the Fisher case, for which a decision is expected this spring.

UT president Bill Powers has testified on the measure and a parallel bill in the House, noting that were the cap to expire, the University’s freshman class would be made up of more than 90 percent automatic admissions, limiting the criteria the University could use to select students, and its ability to attract out-of-state and foreign students.

The House version of the bill, authored by higher education committee chair Dan Branch (R-Dallas), was unanimously approved by the committee last week, and awaits a full House vote.

Editor’s Note: The Texas Exes supports legislation to extend the cap on Top 10. Read more about the Texas Exes legislative priorities here.

The Texas Senate dais. Photo courtesy wblj via Flickr Creative Commons.


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