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Capitalizing on Segregation, Pretending Neutrality: College Admissions and the Texas Top 10% Law


  • Marta Tienda
  • Sunny Xinchun Niu


In response to the judicial ban on the use of race-sensitive admissions, the seventy-fifth Texas legislature passed H.B. 588, which guarantees admission to any Texas public college or university for all seniors graduating in the top decile of their class. We show that high levels of residential and school segregation facilitate minority enrollment at selective public institutions under the uniform admission law because black and Hispanic students who rank at the top of their class disproportionately hail from minority-dominant schools. However, qualifying minority students' lower likelihood of college enrollment at the flagships reflects concentrated disadvantage rather than segregation per se. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Tienda & Sunny Xinchun Niu, 2006. "Capitalizing on Segregation, Pretending Neutrality: College Admissions and the Texas Top 10% Law," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 312-346.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:8:y:2006:i:2:p:312-346

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    Cited by:

    1. Dylan Conger & Lisa Dickson, 2017. "Gender Imbalance in Higher Education: Insights for College Administrators and Researchers," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(2), pages 214-230, March.
    2. Conger, Dylan, 2015. "High school grades, admissions policies, and the gender gap in college enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 144-147.

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