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UT proposes inclusion of race as a factor in admissions

November 24, 2003
Abilene Reporter News

AUSTIN- The University of Texas at Austin has submitted a proposal to begin considering race and ethnicity among the many factors to determine acceptance in undergraduate, graduate and law school applications.

The UT System, which in August approved a policy allowing individual campuses to decide whether to adopt affirmative-action criteria in admissions, must review the proposal before new guidelines can be implemented.

State law requires changes in admissions policy to be posted a year in advance, so race and ethnicity probably would be used as a consideration of the 2005 entering class.

In the freshman admissions process, the proposal is to include the use of race and ethnicity among about 15 factors in addition to academic factors.

"In the individual review we are looking for qualified students who can benefit the most from or contribute the most to the diverse and challenging educational experience at The University of Texas at Austin," UT Vice Provost Bruce Walker said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that colleges and universities could use race as a consideration in admissions, overturning the 1996 Hopwood decision, which barred the use of race in college admissions, scholarships and financial aid.

Cheryl Hopwood was one of four white applicants who were turned away by the UT law school and sued in 1992.