Texas Senate debates the Top 10 Percent Bill

Debating the most sweeping reform of college admissions policies in more than a decade, Texas senators approved legislation today that would end automatic entry to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

Practically speaking, most students who make the top 10 percent cut would still be able to get into a public Texas college _ some college _ for years. But the University of Texas at Austin, where more than 80 percent of the home-state freshman class are admitted under the rule, could start cutting back on such automatic admissions by the fall of 2010 if the changes are approved.

The reform passed the Senate on a 22-8 vote this evening after several hours of often tense debate. It faces a final Senate vote, probably this week, and must get over several more legislative hurdles before it could become law.

The reform faces several more hurdles in the Legislature before it could become law.