AUSTIN – Under a change that will go into effect in summer and fall 2019, the University of Texas at Austin will automatically admit eligible Texas students in the top six percent of their high school graduating class.

The university said Friday that “the change is due to the continued growth in the number of Texas high school graduates and a steep increase in applications to UT Austin.” Applications to UT have risen from 38,000 in 2013 to more than 51,000 in 2017.

UT said the number of high school graduates in Texas has increased by 14,000 between 2013 and 2017, and that the number is projected to increase by almost 50,000 through 2025. The university added this will not impact high school seniors who are currently applying for the summer and fall of 2018. Those who are in the top seven percent of their class will automatically be admitted.

According to the university, lowering the number to six percent will allow it to:

- Maintain the legally mandated proportions of the incoming in-state freshman class at 75 percent automatically admitted students and 25 percent admitted through the holistic review process.
- Adjust to the projected growth in Texas high school graduates.
- Continue to provide admissions spots for eligible transfer students.

“UT Austin is committed to providing a world-class education to exceptional students from across Texas,” said UT-Austin President Gregory L. Fenves in a statement. “Today, the university is enrolling about 1,000 more freshmen than it did six years ago. We accomplished this by dramatically improving four-year graduation rates, making it possible for us to serve more students. We are committed to even further improvements, which will continue to expand access to UT.”

Under a law initially passed in 1997, UT was to automatically admit eligible Texas students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. The law was amended in 2009 to cap the number of automatically admitted students at UT-Austin to 75 percent of incoming first-year in-state students. Recently this has meant students in the top 7-8 percent are automatically admitted to UT.