Texas House Bill 588
to uniform admission and reporting procedures for institutions of higher
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF
THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 51,
Education Code, is amended by adding Subchapter S to read as follows:
S. UNIFORM ADMISSION POLICY
Sec. 51.801. DEFINITIONS.
In this subchapter, "general academic teaching institution,"
"governing board," "medical and dental unit," and
"university system" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.
Sec. 51.802. UNIFORM
ADMISSION SYSTEM. A general academic teaching institution shall admit
first‑time freshman students for each semester under the provisions of
Sec. 51.803. AUTOMATIC
ADMISSION: ALL INSTITUTIONS. (a) Each general academic
teaching institution shall admit an applicant for admission to the institution
as an undergraduate student if the applicant graduated in one of the two school
years preceding the academic year for which the applicant is applying for
admission from a public or private high school in this state accredited by a
generally recognized accrediting organization with a grade point average in the
top 10 percent of the student's high school graduating class.
To qualify for admission under this section, an applicant must submit an
application before the expiration of any application filing deadline
established by the institution.
(b) After admitting an
applicant under this section, the institution shall review the applicant's
record and any other factor the institution considers appropriate to determine
whether the applicant may require additional preparation for
college‑level work or would benefit from inclusion in a retention
program. The institution may
require a student so identified to enroll during the summer immediately after
the student is admitted under this section to participate in appropriate
enrichment courses and orientation programs.
This section does not prohibit a student who is not determined to need
additional preparation for college‑level work from enrolling, if the
student chooses, during the summer immediately after the student is admitted
under this section.
Sec. 51.804. ADDITIONAL
AUTOMATIC ADMISSIONS: SELECTED INSTITUTIONS. For each academic year,
the governing board of each general academic teaching institution shall
determine whether to adopt an admissions policy under which an applicant to the
institution as a first‑time freshman student, other than an applicant
eligible for admission under Section 51.803, shall be admitted to the
institution if the applicant graduated from a public or private high school in
this state accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization with a
grade point average in the top 25 percent of the applicant's high school
Sec. 51.805. OTHER
ADMISSIONS. (a) A graduating student who does not qualify for
admission under Section 51.803 or 51.804 may apply to any general academic
(b) The general academic
teaching institution, after admitting students under Sections 51.803 and
51.804, shall admit other applicants for admission as undergraduate students.
It is the intent of the legislature that all institutions of higher education
pursue academic excellence by considering students' academic achievements in
decisions related to admissions. Because of changing demographic trends,
diversity, and population increases in the state, each general academic
teaching institution shall also consider all of, any of, or a combination of
the following socioeconomic indicators or factors in making first‑time
freshman admissions decisions:
(1) the applicant's
(2) the socioeconomic
background of the applicant, including the percentage by which the applicant's
family is above or below any recognized measure of poverty, the applicant's
household income, and the applicant's parents' level of education;
(3) whether the applicant
would be the first generation of the applicant's family to attend or graduate
from an institution of higher education;
(4) whether the applicant
has bilingual proficiency;
(5) the financial status
of the applicant's school district;
(6) the performance level
of the applicant's school as determined by the school accountability criteria
used by the Texas Education Agency;
(7) the applicant's
responsibilities while attending school, including whether the applicant has
been employed, whether the applicant has helped
to raise children, or other similar factors;
(8) the applicant's region
(9) whether the applicant
is a resident of a rural or urban area or a resident of a central city or
suburban area in the state;
(10) the applicant's
performance on standardized tests;
(11) the applicant's
performance on standardized tests in comparison with that of other students
from similar socioeconomic backgrounds;
(12) whether the applicant
attended any school while the school was under a court‑ordered
(13) the applicant's
involvement in community activities;
(14) the applicant's
(15) the applicant's
commitment to a particular field of study;
(16) the applicant's
(17) the applicant's
admission to a comparable accredited out‑of‑state institution; and
(18) any other
consideration the institution considers necessary to accomplish the
institution's stated mission.
(c) A general academic
teaching institution may review other factors in making an admissions decision.
(d) Not later than one
year before the date that applications for admission are first considered under
this section, each general academic teaching institution shall publish in the
institution's catalog a description of the factors considered by the
institution in making admission decisions and shall make the information
available to the public.
(e) This section does not
apply to an institution that has an open enrollment policy.
Sec. 51.806. REPORT
TO COORDINATING BOARD. Each general academic teaching institution shall provide
a report annually to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board describing
the composition of the entering class of students admitted under this
subchapter. The report shall
include a demographic breakdown, including a breakdown by race, ethnicity, and
economic status, of the students admitted under Sections 51.803, 51.804, and
Sec. 51.807. RULEMAKING.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may adopt rules relating to the
operation of admissions programs under this subchapter, including rules
relating to the identification of eligible students and the reporting
requirements of Section 51.806.
Sec. 51.808. APPLICATION
OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO OTHER PROGRAMS. (a) Each general academic
teaching institution or medical and dental unit that offers admissions to
undergraduate transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or
professional program shall also adopt a written admission policy applicable to
(b) The policy shall be
published in the institution's or unit's catalog and made available to the
Sec. 51.809. SCHOLARSHIP
AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS. (a) A general academic teaching institution
or a medical and dental unit that offers competitive scholarship or fellowship
awards shall adopt a written policy describing the factors to be used by the
institution or unit in making an award.
(b) A policy adopted under
this section shall be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and
shall be made available to the public in advance of any deadline for the
submission of an application for a competitive scholarship or fellowship to
which the policy applies.
SECTION 2. (a) The
change in law made by this Act applies beginning with admissions and
scholarships for the fall term or semester in 1998.
(b) The Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board, each general academic teaching institution, and
each medical and dental unit shall adopt rules or policies relating to the
admission of students under Subchapter S, Chapter 51, Education Code, as added
by this Act, not later than January 1, 1998.
SECTION 3. The importance
of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses
create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional
rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be
suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.