Texas Tech Adopts Race-Sensitive Admissions Program

In 1996, as a result of the federal appeals court ruling in the Hopwood case, state-operated universities in Texas were prohibited for seven years from considering the race of an applicant in their admissions decisions. The 2003 Grutter decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Hopwood ruling and enabled public universities in Texas to once again consider race.

The University of Texas at Austin quickly declared that race could and would be considered in the admissions decision. The Texas A&M University system decided to stay with race-neutral admissions but placed an increased effort on outreach programs to increase racial diversity on campus.

Texas Tech University also maintained its race-neutral admissions system. But last year only 42 percent of blacks who applied to the university were admitted compared to 76 percent of whites. As a result, this spring Texas Tech will now consider race as a positive factor in admissions decisions. Race will be just one factor in a new admissions category called “Diversity of Experience.” Students who have overcome obstacles, become proficient in another language, or were active participants in community service may also be given an advantage in what Texas Tech calls an “individualistic and holistic” admissions process.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.