1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to uniform admission and reporting procedures for

 1-3     institutions of higher education.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended by adding

 1-6     Subchapter S to read as follows:


 1-8           Sec. 51.801.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter, "general

 1-9     academic teaching institution," "governing board," "medical and

1-10     dental unit," and "university system" have the meanings assigned by

1-11     Section 61.003.

1-12           Sec. 51.802.  UNIFORM ADMISSION SYSTEM.  A general academic

1-13     teaching institution shall admit first-time freshman students for

1-14     each semester under the provisions of this subchapter.

1-15           Sec. 51.803.  AUTOMATIC ADMISSION:  ALL INSTITUTIONS.

1-16     (a)  Each general academic teaching institution shall admit an

1-17     applicant for admission to the institution as an undergraduate

1-18     student if the applicant graduated in one of the two school years

1-19     preceding the academic year for which the applicant is applying for

1-20     admission from a public or private high school in this state

1-21     accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization with

1-22     a grade point average in the top 10 percent of the student's high

1-23     school graduating class.  To qualify for admission under this

1-24     section, an applicant must submit an application before the

 2-1     expiration of any application filing deadline established by the

 2-2     institution.

 2-3           (b)  After admitting an applicant under this section, the

 2-4     institution shall review the applicant's record and any other

 2-5     factor the institution considers appropriate to determine whether

 2-6     the applicant may require additional preparation for college-level

 2-7     work or would benefit from inclusion in a retention program.  The

 2-8     institution may require a student so identified to enroll during

 2-9     the summer immediately after the student is admitted under this

2-10     section to participate in appropriate enrichment courses and

2-11     orientation programs.  This section does not prohibit a student who

2-12     is not determined to need additional preparation for college-level

2-13     work from enrolling, if the student chooses, during the summer

2-14     immediately after the student is admitted under this section.


2-16     INSTITUTIONS.  For each academic year, the governing board of  each

2-17     general academic teaching institution shall determine whether to

2-18     adopt an admissions policy under which an applicant to the

2-19     institution as a first-time freshman student, other than an

2-20     applicant eligible for admission under Section 51.803, shall be

2-21     admitted to the institution if the applicant graduated from a

2-22     public or private high school in this state accredited by a

2-23     generally recognized accrediting organization with a grade point

2-24     average in the top 25 percent of the applicant's high school

2-25     graduating class.

2-26           Sec. 51.805.  OTHER ADMISSIONS.  (a)  A graduating student

2-27     who does not qualify for admission under Section 51.803 or 51.804

 3-1     may apply to any general academic teaching institution.

 3-2           (b)  The general academic teaching institution, after

 3-3     admitting students under Sections 51.803 and 51.804, shall admit

 3-4     other applicants for admission as undergraduate students.  It is

 3-5     the intent of the legislature that all institutions of higher

 3-6     education pursue academic excellence by considering students'

 3-7     academic achievements in decisions related to admissions.  Because

 3-8     of changing demographic trends, diversity, and population increases

 3-9     in the state, each general academic teaching institution shall also

3-10     consider all of, any of, or a combination of the following

3-11     socioeconomic indicators or factors in making first-time freshman

3-12     admissions decisions:

3-13                 (1)  the applicant's academic record;

3-14                 (2)  the socioeconomic background of the applicant,

3-15     including the percentage by which the applicant's  family is above

3-16     or below any recognized measure of poverty, the applicant's

3-17     household income, and the applicant's parents' level of education;

3-18                 (3)  whether the applicant would be the first

3-19     generation of the applicant's  family to attend or graduate from an

3-20     institution of higher education;

3-21                 (4)  whether the applicant has bilingual proficiency;

3-22                 (5)  the financial status of the applicant's school

3-23     district;

3-24                 (6)  the performance level of the applicant's school as

3-25     determined by the school accountability criteria used by the Texas

3-26     Education Agency;

3-27                 (7)  the applicant's responsibilities while attending

 4-1     school, including whether the applicant has been employed, whether

 4-2     the applicant has  helped to raise children, or other similar

 4-3     factors;

 4-4                 (8)  the applicant's region of residence;

 4-5                 (9)  whether the applicant is a resident of a rural or

 4-6     urban area or a resident of a central city or suburban area in the

 4-7     state;

 4-8                 (10)  the applicant's performance on standardized

 4-9     tests;

4-10                 (11)  the applicant's performance on standardized tests

4-11     in comparison with that of other students from similar

4-12     socioeconomic backgrounds;

4-13                 (12)  whether the applicant attended any school while

4-14     the school was under a court-ordered desegregation plan;

4-15                 (13)  the applicant's involvement in community

4-16     activities;

4-17                 (14)  the applicant's extracurricular activities;

4-18                 (15)  the applicant's commitment to a particular field

4-19     of study;

4-20                 (16)  the applicant's personal interview;

4-21                 (17)  the applicant's admission to a comparable

4-22     accredited out-of-state institution; and

4-23                 (18)  any other consideration the institution considers

4-24     necessary to accomplish the institution's stated mission.

4-25           (c)  A general academic teaching institution may review other

4-26     factors in making an admissions decision.

4-27           (d)  Not later than one year before the date that

 5-1     applications for admission are first considered under this section,

 5-2     each general academic teaching institution shall publish in the

 5-3     institution's catalog a description of the factors considered by

 5-4     the institution in making admission decisions and shall make the

 5-5     information available to the public.

 5-6           (e)  This section does not apply to an institution that has

 5-7     an open enrollment policy.

 5-8           Sec. 51.806.  REPORT TO COORDINATING BOARD.  Each general

 5-9     academic teaching institution shall provide a report annually to

5-10     the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board describing the

5-11     composition of the entering class of students admitted under this

5-12     subchapter.  The report shall include a demographic breakdown,

5-13     including a breakdown by race, ethnicity, and economic status, of

5-14     the students admitted under Sections 51.803, 51.804, and 51.805.

5-15           Sec. 51.807.  RULEMAKING.  The Texas Higher Education

5-16     Coordinating Board may adopt rules relating to the operation of

5-17     admissions programs under this subchapter, including rules relating

5-18     to the identification of eligible students and the reporting

5-19     requirements of Section 51.806.


5-21     PROGRAMS.  (a)  Each general academic  teaching institution or

5-22     medical and dental unit that offers admissions to undergraduate

5-23     transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or

5-24     professional program shall also adopt a written admission policy

5-25     applicable to those programs.

5-26           (b)  The policy shall be published in the institution's or

5-27     unit's catalog and made available to the public.

 6-1           Sec. 51.809.  SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS.  (a)  A

 6-2     general academic teaching institution or a medical and dental unit

 6-3     that offers competitive scholarship or fellowship awards shall

 6-4     adopt a written policy describing the factors to be used by the

 6-5     institution or unit in making an award.

 6-6           (b)  A policy adopted under this section shall be published

 6-7     in the institution's or unit's catalog and shall be made available

 6-8     to the public in advance of any deadline for the submission of an

 6-9     application for a competitive scholarship or fellowship to which

6-10     the policy applies.

6-11           SECTION 2.  (a)  The change in law made by this Act applies

6-12     beginning with admissions and scholarships for the fall term or

6-13     semester in 1998.

6-14           (b)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, each

6-15     general academic teaching institution, and each medical and dental

6-16     unit shall adopt rules or policies relating to the admission of

6-17     students under Subchapter S, Chapter 51, Education Code, as added

6-18     by this Act, not later than January 1, 1998.

6-19           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the

6-20     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

6-21     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

6-22     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

6-23     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

         _______________________________     _______________________________

             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House

               I certify that H.B. No. 588 was passed by the House on April

         16, 1997, by a non-record vote.


                                                 Chief Clerk of the House

               I certify that H.B. No. 588 was passed by the Senate on May

         8, 1997, by a viva-voce vote.


                                                 Secretary of the Senate

         APPROVED:  _____________________