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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Hopwood Decision in Texas as an Attack on Latino Access to Selective Higher Education Programs

  • Author(s): Chapa, Jorge
  • et al.

This paper begins with a review of the Hopwood decision which has prohibited Texas colleges and universities from making any consideration of race or Latino origin in admissions or financial aid decisions. One of the immediate effects of the Hopwood decision was to decrease the number of Latino students who applied and were admitted to many of the most selective publicly-funded higher education programs in the state. The amount of financial aid available to Latino students was also drastically decreased because of Hopwood. The next section of the paper argues that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Legislature and the top administrators in the public higher education systems have taken actions that can be seen as largely supportive of increasing Latino access despite Hopwood. Public opinion is generally supportive of diversity but critical of racial preferences. The paper concludes that the strongest opposition to Latino access is found in the legal establishment; i.e., the courts, the Texas Attorney General and some law school faculty.

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