The Other Percent of the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan: An Evaluation of the Plan’s Impact on Geographic Diversity at the State’s Flagship Campus
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CitationHernandez, Alexander. 2020. The Other Percent of the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan: An Evaluation of the Plan’s Impact on Geographic Diversity at the State’s Flagship Campus. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe Texas Top Ten Percent Plan (the “plan”) guarantees students from Texas high schools admittance into any state university, so long as the student graduates in the top ten percent of his or her class. The effects of the plan with respect to the impact it has had on the demographic characteristics such as race and socioeconomic status at Texas’s flagship university — The University of Texas at Austin (“UT”) — have been widely studied and debated. The exhaustive study of the plan may even lead some to conclude that nothing more can be said about it. I beg to differ.
The plan was enacted by the Texas legislature with the fundamental purpose of attaining geographic diversity at UT. Yet, studies concerning the plan have tended to focus solely on evaluating how well the legislation attains racial and socioeconomic diversity. Few studies have evaluated whether the plan has attained geographic diversity. Those that have, use a flawed metric — an increase in the number of feeder schools — to reach their conclusions.
I fill that gap here and evaluate whether the plan has increased the geographic diversity of entering students at the Lone Star State’s most coveted campus.
Evaluating admissions data from both before and after plan, I hone in on the geographical location of each entering freshman class at UT and find that geographic diversity has remained nearly the same at UT. Before the plan, in 1997, the entering class at UT largely came from five of Texas’s twenty educational regions, each of which surrounds one of Texas’s metropolitan areas. After the plan, the story has remained largely the same: the proportionate number of students coming from one of those five regions has remained at around 80%.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365405