Lawmakers Vote Down Bill Capping Top 10 Percent Admissions

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The Texas House last night rejected a bill that would have capped the number of students automatically admitted to public universities under the state's top ten percent law.

The House voted 75-to-64 against a compromise bill that would have capped the number of automatically admitted students to half of a university's incoming freshman class.

Several House Democrats spoke against the bill, saying the current law sends students of all backgrounds the message that if they work hard and get good grades, they can get into one of the best schools.

The top ten percent law was adopted after a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision made affirmative action illegal in Texas college admissions.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision, allowing universities to use race as one of many decision-making factors.

The current law primarily affects UT-Austin and, to a lesser degree, Texas A&M University in College Station.

Seventy percent of this year's UT-Austin freshmen from Texas were automatically admitted under the law.