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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Top 10 percent rule criticized

Statistics for the University of Texas last year showed 75 percent of the freshmen admitted were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
Texas A&M hopes not to be in the same boat, said Frank Ashley, associate provost for enrollment.
On average, about 5,300 of 18,000 applications received by A&M are applications of students who are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.
In the fall of 2003, more than 50 percent of students admitted to A&M were in the top 10 percent, Ashley said.
According to the top 10 percent rule, students who are in the top 10 percent of their graduating class are qualified for automatic admission to any Texas public university. Although the students are admitted to the university, the policy does not promise admission to a college within the university of their choice.
In addition to graduating in the top 10 percent, students must attend a public or private high school in Texas, enroll in a college no more than two years after graduation and submit an application before the deadline.
Students may still be required to take the SAT or ACT, Ashley said.
Ashley said he believes the top 10 percent rule is a good rule, but it needs some changes. He said he believes every student should take a college preparatory course, because some students may not take more rigorous courses in high school.
Students not admitted in the top 10 percent of their class support the rule, but only to a certain extent.
“In some regards, the top 10 percent rule is good,” said junior international studies major Leslie Lane. “Those students worked hard to get those grades for four years. But what about those who had to work or were busy with extracurricular activities?”
Lane said she believes A&M is focused on modeling Aggies who are well rounded, and if a prospective student only has the grades, A&M is missing out on a student who can add so much to the Aggie family. If a prospective student has both grades and extra curricular activities, his home should be here in Aggieland, Lane said.
For the 2001-2002 school year, more than 19,200 admission applications from high school seniors were sent to A&M, while only 6,400 freshmen were accepted for the 2001-02 year. In 2001, more than half of the entering freshmen were top 10 percent.
Ashley said 4 percent of admissions are set aside for out-of-state students and 1 percent for international students. This leaves 95 percent open to Texas residents.
“In one way, I think it discredits all of the other essential elements necessary in becoming a strong college student, namely extracurricular activities,” said junior management major Nazer Taqvi, a student who was in the top 10 percent in high school. “Obviously, the system isn’t perfect.”
Taqvi said he believes the top 10 percent rule establishes a standard that may be considered discriminatory, but surely serves its purpose in a simple, straightforward manner.
“It is a policy that will add to the traditions at a school such as Texas A&M, but may or may not have the same effect on our entering classes’ admissions profile,” Taqvi said.

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