Hispanics in Higher Education and the Texas Top 10% Law
- 334 Downloads
This paper examines the consequences of changes in Hispanic college enrollment after affirmative action was banned and replaced by an admission guarantee for students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class. We use administrative data on applicants, admittees, and enrollees from the two most selective public institutions and Texas Education Agency data about high schools to evaluate whether and how application, admission, and enrollment rates changed under the three admission regimes. Despite popular claims that the top 10% law has restored diversity to Texas’s public flagships, our analyses that account for secular changes in the size of graduation cohorts show that Hispanics are more disadvantaged relative to whites under the top 10% admission regime at both University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Simulations of Hispanics’ gains and losses at each stage of the college pipeline reveal that affirmative action is the most efficient policy to diversify college campuses, even in highly segregated states like Texas.
KeywordsHispanics Higher education Top ten percent law Affirmative action
This study was supported by grants from the Ford, Mellon, Hewlett, and Spencer Foundations and NSF (GRANT # SES-0350990). We gratefully acknowledge institutional support from the Office of Population Research (NICHD Grant # R24 H0047879) and programming assistance from Dawn Koffman.
- Barr, R. (2002). Top 10 percent policy: Higher education diversity after Hopwood. Interim News, No. 77–79. Austin, TX: Texas House of Representatives, House Research Organization.Google Scholar
- Bowen, W. G., & Bok, D. (1998). The shape of the river: Long-term consequences of considering race in college and university admissions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Card, D., & Krueger, A. B. (2005). Would the elimination of affirmative action affect highly qualified minority applicants? Evidence from California and Texas. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 58, 416–434.Google Scholar
- Haurwitz, R. K. M. (2008). Judge considers legality of UT admissions policy: Lawsuit seeks to bar university’s consideration of race, ethnicity. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) Metro:B1.Google Scholar
- Holley, D., & Spencer, D. (1999). The Texas ten percent plan. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 34, 245–278.Google Scholar
- Koffman, D., & Tienda, M. (2008). Missing in application: The Texas top 10% law and campus socioeconomic diversity. Working Paper, Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project. http://theop.princeton.edu/reports/wp/ApplicantSocialClass.pdf.
- Montejano, D. (2001). Access to the University of Texas at Austin and the ten percent plan: A three-year Assessment (Admissions Brief). Austin: University of Texas at Austin, Office of Admissions Research. http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/research/montejanopaper.html.
- Schmidt, P. (2008). New twists mark the debate over Texas’ top 10-percent plan. The Chronicle of Higher Education Government and Politics:20.Google Scholar
- Strayhorn, C. K. (2005). The impact of the state higher education system on the Texas economy. Austin, TX: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Retrieved June 28, 2008, http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/highered05.
- Swanson, C. B. (2006). High school graduation in Texas. Bethesda, MD: Educational Projects in Education Research Center. http://www.edweek.org/media/texas_eperc.pdf.
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board [THECB]. (2003). Participation and success forecast, 2003–2015: Texas institutions of higher education. Austin: Division of Planning and Information Resources.Google Scholar
- Tienda, M. (2006). Harnessing diversity in higher education: Lessons from Texas. In Maureen. Devlin (Ed.), Ford policy forum, 2006: Exploring the economics of higher education (pp. 7–14). Washington, D.C: NACUBO and the Forum for the Future of Higher Education.Google Scholar
- Tienda, M., & Sullivan, T. A. (2009). The promise and peril of the Texas uniform admission law. In M. Hall, M. Krislov, & D. L. Featherman (Eds.), The next twenty five years? Affirmative action and higher education in the United States and South Africa. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
- Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education [WICHE]. (2008). Knocking at the college door: Projections of high school graduates by state, income, and race/ethnicity, 1992 to 2022. Boulder, CO: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.Google Scholar
- Wilgoren, J. (1999). New law in Texas preserves racial mix in state’s colleges. The New York Times, November 19. A:1.Google Scholar