The higher education diversity programs that Texas enacted after Hopwood v. University of Texas banned affirmative action had unexpected positive consequences for the state’s high schools. The Texas top 10% law, the Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship and Century Scholarship programs, and the Towards Excellence, Access and Success Grant program each explicitly linked postsecondary opportunities to high school performance and clearly articulated that link to students across the state. As a result, these programs worked as K–16 school reforms, using college opportunities as incentives to improve educational outcomes at the high school level. Using panel data describing Texas high schools between 1993 and 2002, the author demonstrates that Texas’s post-Hopwood higher education policies redistributed college-related activity at public high schools and boosted high school students’ academic engagement.
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