Top 10 rule well-intentioned, antiquated
As parents seek ways to help get their kids into college, the easiest and most affordable way was for their child to succeed in high school and graduate among the top ten percent of their class, guaranteeing their acceptance into college. However, research has shown that although this plan helped those who were otherwise unable to attend the state college of their choice because of finances, it has failed other students who have worked equally hard.
Last semester UH President and UH System Chancellor Renu Khator expressed her desire to make UH a flagship university. The state of Texas needs more than one school with that ranking – it needs many. This is but one solution, a great one, but one that takes years to accomplish. This doesn’t mean Khator should give up, but instead indicates it may be the children in elementary school today who will benefit from reform – if the top 10 rule isn’t thrown out.
There are alternative suggestions being thrown around that could offer some relief, but even those aren’t guaranteed to be the solution. In fact, it is feared some of them could be regressive. Some suggestions mentioned in newspapers statewide have included capping the admissions percentage per university under the top 10 rule at 50 percent (therefore allowing other students a chance at acceptance), limiting the total number of open slots available to the high achievers, having more top tier universities in Texas, and even going as far as changing the umbrella number from 10 percent to the top 1 percent of each graduating class from state high schools.
Having a child in high school is scary enough. Parents know they will soon be sending them off into their own world, but by the anxiety of waiting for college acceptance letters and fearing tuition and book fees that inevitably build with each passing semester can be torture.
As a parent with a teen approaching these very moments, I find it difficult to think about the economy today, where it is headed and where it will be when the time comes for my kids to enter college. The top 10 rule is a small ray of hope that parents cling to and encourage their children to strive for. Let’s hope politicians, educators and parents can work together to find a way for all Texas’ children to make their way into college.