Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Top 10 percent? I don't think so

I graduated high school with a 4.0. I graduated with 450 other students, and I was not even among the top 50 in my class. I was a dedicated student who took AP classes to extend my workload but more than 10 percent of my class found ways to graduate with above a 4.0. Good thing I did not graduate high school in Texas, else I wouldn’t be where I am today, a student at the University of Texas at Austin.
It is time for the state to get rid of the Texas House Bill 588 that guarantees admittance to any public funded university for any person that graduates in the top ten percent of its class from a Texas high school ( It was enacted in response to a federal court ruling Hopwood vs. the State of Texas which stopped an affirmative action entrance program at the University of Texas law school.
This law unjustly lets students who do not deserve to be admitted to public universities take the place of those who do. The size of Texas is so great that graduating classes range from under a hundred to over a thousand ( How can anyone say that the top ten people from a graduating class of one hundred are equivalent to the top 100 of a class of 1000? Texas is a place of great diversity. It has its major cities where some students are close enough to walk to class and it has its rural areas where high schoolers must drive long distances.
Admittance to schools should be based on many things. Graduation rank is not one of them. Schools should look at test scores, high school grades, volunteer work, admittance essays and extracurricular activities on a student by student basis in order to determine if a student is eligible to attend a specific university.
Let’s take a case for example, like mine. Say a Texas student had graduated from a bigger high school where he graduated with a 3.75 grade point average while playing two sports and participating in school plays. He does not get into the University of Texas because 81 percent of the incoming freshman class is taken up by guaranteed admitees as it was in 2008 ( On the other hand, a student from a tiny high school who graduates with a 3.5 GPA with little extracurricular activities garners entrance because of his rank among the best in his class. How can anyone make the argument this student deserves it over the other more qualified student?
It is time to kill the bill that is meant to compensate for an affirmative action program, that the federal courts already ruled illegal. In doing so, the drop out rates of public funded universities will go down as more and more deserving students are accepted versus students who weasle their way in through an outdated and unfair Texas law.


  1. I moved to Texas in the middle of my sophomore year, and originally was very pleased to here that the top ten percent of every graduating class would receive automatic entrance to Texas public universities. That was until I soon realized exactly what you have just pointed out. While I myself did not graduate in the top ten percent of my class, I was not expecting to either. My sister on the other hand, stayed up 6 days of the week to crazy hours of the night and dedicated her entire life to her schooling, made a 4.0 and never got below an A in her life yet she did not graduate top ten percent of her class. Granted her graduating class was ginormous. But it is completely unfair that she worked so hard and is not receiving the automatic acceptance that other students graduating from smaller classes are receiving knowing a lot worked half as hard as she did. I agree that there has got to be a better way for Texas to reward it's hard working, top of the line students and it's current House Bill 588 is definitely not the way.
    In Georgia, anyone graduating with a 3.0 GPA gets free tuition to any Georgia public university, it's called the Hope Scholarship. While this may seem too easy, the catch is that if at any point in college they drop below that 3.0 GPA, they are no longer granted that scholarship and must pay tuition.
    While something like the Hope Scholarship may not work in Texas, it is definitely something to look into as a sign that their are other ways to reward students for excelling at school.

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  3. I could not agree with you anymore. I believe UT should switch into a complete holistic review instead admitting by top 10%. I would like to point out that they changed it from top 10% to top 8% now by passing senate bill 175 ( Now that takes up 75% of admissions and only leaves 25% to be holistically admitted. When UT determines admissions,excluding top 8%, they look at GPA,extra-curricular, essays, leadership, and volunteer hours. I like your example you have, but I am going to take that a step further . Let's say that there is a person who was in the top 8%, and all he did was study and has no volunteer hours or extracurricular activities and he has a GPA of 3.4. Let's say there is another person in another school who has a GPA of 3.4 and is not in the top 8%, but he is president of debate, is in varsity football, and has 72 volunteer hours. Same GPA, but different schools and different standards of top 8%. The first person would get admitted into UT while the second person might not. This is due to the fact that there is the top 8% percent rule, and it happens all the time. I have a friend who came from another school, there he was in the top 2% of his class, and when he came to my High school he had a difficult time with his classes, and fell to top 40%. When I confronted him about this, he said that my school was harder than his old one. If he had stayed there he most likely would have graduated in top 8% while people at my school would not have do to different difficulties and standards. This is an issue and UT should switch into a holistic review, from the old top 8% rule.