A&M has more diversity than UT without affirmative action.
In the minds of many Texans, the Lone Star State’s two flagship universities are polar opposites: The University of Texas at Austin is perceived as diverse, urban and liberal. Texas A&M University is viewed as white, rural and conservative.This is bad news for UT as it is arguing again before the Supreme court that the affirmative racism is needed. It is time to put this practice behind us, and have a merit based system that does not stigmatize minorities as products of preferences.
On the surface, the two universities’ admissions policies reflect that view. UT-Austin proudly practices affirmative action to bolster its minority student ranks and has spent years defending the policy in federal court. A&M eschews giving minority applicants any kind of advantage. If you get into A&M, its administrators say, you are doing it solely on your merits.
But a surprising shift has occurred at A&M over the last decade. Despite its reluctance to formally consider the race of its applicants, the university has worked hard to convince black and Hispanic students to apply and enroll. Since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the legality of affirmative action in college admissions, A&M has continued not using it, yet the share of black and Hispanic students has more than doubled at its College Station campus — from 10.8 percent to 23.1 percent.