Geography, Race, and College Admissions

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 15:23:05 +0000

While other states had struggled, sometimes all the way to the Supreme Court, with racial preferences in public college admissions, I thought that the Texas plan was a good one. In brief, it enforced geographic diversity in admissions and worked to create racial and other forms of diversity in a race-neutral manner because many characteristics related to socio-economic disadvantage vary geographically. The plan allows any student who finishes in the top 10 percent of his/her high school class to attend one of the public colleges in the state. This most affects the flagship school, University of Texas, which would otherwise have the freedom to be very selective in its admissions. Read about the details of the plan and the state legislature's recent decisions about scaling it back, in this post at Inside Higher Education.