Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS STATEMENT FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 4, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

SENATE APPROVES SENATE BILL 101
TOP 10 PERCENT LAW CHANGES

SB 101 caps the number of students automatically admitted to a public university in Texas under the top 10 percent rule to 60 percent of the number of entering students. The first 50 percent based on their school's ranking order will be automatically admitted, with priority given to those who graduated from high schools with a higher rank. The remaining 10 percent will be left to the university's discretion for admittance. Hispanic enrollment has increased from 14 to 19 percent and African American enrollment from 4 to 5 percent, under the top 10 percent law.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. said, "I would have preferred maintaining the current top 10 percent law for admission to Texas universities because it has worked. This law has increased diversity both ethnically and geographically, admitting greater numbers from rural areas since its implementation. The University of Texas at Austin implemented the rule fall 1998.

Only 616 high schools sent students to UT-Austin in 1996. By 2006, the number of high schools increased to 853 under the top 10 percent law. This meant greater representation and opportunities for more of our Texas students.

I feel we need a more comprehensive plan to establish greater diversity at our higher education institutions. My own goal is to preserve the top 10 percent law, invest more money into financial aid and improve outreach and recruitment. These combined efforts, in the end, are what will make a difference in our attempts to increase diversity.

I voted for the law because I feel the cap is at least moderate, but I do fear reductions in diversity at our two major universities and perhaps at some of the others. I also voted for the amendment to sunset this law in eight years so we can review if it worked. Numbers don't lie, and time will tell if we did what was right for Texas students."

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