By Rangel                                             H.B. No. 1641
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to providing certain students with an equal opportunity to
 1-3     enroll in or receive a competitive scholarship for a graduate or
 1-4     professional degree program.
 1-6           SECTION 1.  Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended by adding
 1-7     Subchapter V to read as follows:
1-10           Sec. 51.821.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter:
1-11                 (1)  "General academic teaching institution" and
1-12     "medical and dental unit" have the meanings assigned by Section
1-13     61.003.
1-14                 (2)  "Graduate program" means a degree program, as
1-15     defined by Section 61.003, to which a student may be admitted that
1-16     leads to a master's or doctoral degree.
1-17                 (3)  "Professional program" means a degree program, as
1-18     defined by Section 61.003, to which a student may be admitted that
1-19     leads to a degree required for licensure as an attorney, doctor of
1-20     medicine or osteopathy, dentist, architect, or pharmacist.
1-22     AND PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS.  (a)  A graduate or professional program
1-23     of a general academic teaching institution or medical or dental
1-24     unit may consider the following factors in making an admissions or
 2-1     scholarship decision for admissions into or competitive
 2-2     scholarships for the graduate or professional program:
 2-3                 (1)  an applicant's academic record as a high school
 2-4     student and undergraduate student;
 2-5                 (2)  the socioeconomic background of the applicant
 2-6     while the applicant attended elementary and secondary school and
 2-7     was an undergraduate student,  including any change in that
 2-8     background;
 2-9                 (3)  whether the applicant would be the first
2-10     generation of the applicant's family to attend or graduate from an
2-11     undergraduate program or from a graduate or professional program;
2-12                 (4)  whether the applicant has multilingual
2-13     proficiency;
2-14                 (5)  the applicant's responsibilities while attending
2-15     elementary and secondary school and as an undergraduate student,
2-16     including whether the applicant was employed, whether the applicant
2-17     helped to raise children, and other similar factors;
2-18                 (6)  to achieve geographic diversity, the applicant's
2-19     region of residence at the time of application and, if the
2-20     applicant graduated from a public high school in this state within
2-21     the preceding 20 years, the region in which the applicant's school
2-22     district is located;
2-23                 (7)  the applicant's involvement in community
2-24     activities;
2-25                 (8)  the applicant's demonstrated commitment to a
2-26     particular field of study;
2-27                 (9)  for admission into a professional program, the
 3-1     current comparative availability of members of that profession in
 3-2     the applicant's region of residence while the applicant attended
 3-3     elementary and secondary school;
 3-4                 (10)  whether the applicant was automatically admitted
 3-5     to a general academic teaching institution as an undergraduate
 3-6     student under Section 51.803; and
 3-7                 (11)  the applicant's personal interview.
 3-8           (b)  An applicant's performance on a standardized test may be
 3-9     used in the admissions or competitive scholarship process only to
3-10     compare the applicant's test score with those of other applicants
3-11     from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.  If an applicant's
3-12     performance on a standardized test is used for that purpose, it
3-13     must be considered together with other compensatory criteria and
3-14     may not account for more than 25 percent of the weight assigned to
3-15     factors considered in the admissions or competitive scholarship
3-16     process.
3-17           (c)  Not later than one year before the date that
3-18     applications for admissions and competitive scholarships are first
3-19     considered for a graduate or professional program under this
3-20     subchapter, each general academic teaching institution or medical
3-21     and dental unit shall publish in the catalog of the institution or
3-22     unit a description of the factors to be considered by the
3-23     institution or unit in making those admissions and competitive
3-24     scholarship decisions and shall make the information available to
3-25     the public.
3-26           (d)  The requirements of Subsection (c) do not apply to
3-27     admissions and competitive scholarships for the 2002 fall semester.
 4-1     Each institution or unit covered by Subsection (c) shall make the
 4-2     required information available to the public and to applicants to
 4-3     its graduate and professional programs not later than December 1,
 4-4     2001, for the 2002 fall semester.  This subsection expires
 4-5     September 1, 2002.
 4-6           Sec. 51.823.  RULEMAKING.  The Texas Higher Education
 4-7     Coordinating Board may adopt rules relating to the operation of
 4-8     admissions and competitive scholarship processes under this
 4-9     subchapter.
4-10           SECTION 2.  (a)  The change in law made by this Act applies
4-11     beginning with admissions and competitive scholarships for the
4-12     2002-2003 academic year.
4-13           (b)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, each
4-14     general academic teaching institution, and each medical and dental
4-15     unit shall adopt rules or policies relating to the admission of
4-16     students and awarding of scholarships under Subchapter V, Chapter
4-17     51, Education Code, as added by this Act, not later than December
4-18     1, 2001.
4-19           SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
4-20     a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
4-21     provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
4-22     Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
4-23     Act takes effect September 1, 2001.