A U.S. Supreme Court case pertaining to university admissions will not
significantly impact Texas Tech, an official said.
The Supreme Court questioned both sides in a case Wednesday about the University of Texas at Austin's use of race in college admissions.
The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, could lead to new limits on affirmative action.
The justices heard arguments in a challenge to the program from a white Texan who contends she was discriminated against when the university did not offer her admission in 2008.
Twenty-two-year-old Abigail Fisher, the Sugar Land native who sued the university, was among the hundreds of spectators at the arguments, according to The Associated Press.
Ethan Logan, Tech executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, said Tech's assured admission process would be completely unaffected, and its holistic application review process would only be slightly impacted, if the court rules in favor of Fisher.
UT says its admissions program is necessary to provide the kind of diverse educational experience the high court has previously endorsed.
Along with race, the university considers community service, work experience, extracurricular activities, awards and other factors as it seeks to fill out its incoming classes. The bulk of its slots go to students who are admitted based on their high school class rank, without regard to race.
Logan said Tech's admission process has two thresholds.
The first, assured admission, is a combination of high school class ranking and test score -- either ACT or SAT.
The criteria is completely objective, he said, and none of the other information on the application is considered in this process. Any qualified student at a certain academic standing, regardless of background or location, will be admitted.
"I think it is a foundation for what a public institution should provide," Logan said. "We try to be as objective as we can about admission to support access."
The second threshold is an application review. Race can play a part in this process, Logan said.
It is optional for an applicant to provide information on his or her race and family financial status, Logan said.
Other sections are marked "required" on the applications, while these sections are not.
According to Tech's website, students who do not meet assured admission are evaluated holistically based on:
--Academic course selection
--Civic or other service activities
--Family educational background
--Special talents or awards
--Diversity of experience and background
Each applicant is reviewed by two professional staff members, who work individually, Logan said. If the decision is split, the application goes to an administrative committee.
Logan said Tech is growing its enrollment slowly and has not reached a capacity where denying students because of a limited capacity is a concern, like it is at UT-Austin.
"We've been able to maintain a constant, slow, exponential growth of enrollment, and purposefully. If we don't exceed capacity, we don't have to
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