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began before Hopwood. However, just short of 75 percent of Trinity’s entering class are Texas residents, making Trinity as much a state and regional institution as Baylor and S.M.U. The schools attracting mostly in-state students, thus far at least, have lost less ground in attracting minority students. Rice claims that its minority numbers are down in part because, under the new rules, the university can no longer compete financially with other national schools, especially in using what university admissions officers call “preferential packaging.” The term refers to the awarding of financial aid to minority students beyond their demonstrated need, as an additional means of encouraging them to attend a specific institution. After Hopwood, Morales deemed such practices illegal, and no private school \(except, again, ued a program under which large scholarships were offered to prospective students who had been recognized by the National Hispanic Scholarship Competition or the National Achievement Scholarship Competition. Similarly, both Baylor and S.M.U. acknowledged that they had stopped offering scholarships awarded specifically to minority students. S.M.U.’s most innovative solution which appears to be working is to target the Dallas Independent School District for increased recruitment. S.M.U. now awards scholarships and enticements to all D.I.S.D. graduates; since D.I.S.D.’s student population is over 90 percent minority, this program should help S.M.U. offer scholarships to significant numbers of minority students even without racial screening. Such a system, based on geographic criteria, falls explicitly within the range of Morales’ suggested substitutes for racial preferences in higher education. But a troubling question remains: did private institutions in fact need to discontinue their existing programs as a result of Hopwood? The path that Trinity, Rice, Baylor and S.M.U. have taken in doing so is clearly the safest legal path, but its necessity remains open to debate. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no educational institution, public or private, that accepts federal funds may “discriminate” on the basis of race. What this means in practice, however, remains unclear. The Supreme Court precedent is Regents of the University of California v. Bakke Bakke decision, the Court said schools, including private schools, could take race into consideration, as long as their admissions programs were not based on strict quotas. Sam Issacharoff sees the court’s Title VI standard as much more stringent and clear-cut. “The only difference between public schools and private schools,” Issacharoff says, “is that private schools have the option to forego federal money and go on their merry way.” That is, according to Issacharoff, private schools can implement affirmative action only if they refuse to accept any federal funds not a viable decision for almost any institution, since the schools rely on federal funds to provide student loans, pay for the Federal Work Study financial aid programs, and to underwrite many faculty research projects. Yet no clear precedent exists for a private school’s responsibilities and liabilities under either Title VI or Hopwood, a legal gray area no in South Texas. For that reason, school has not abandoned any of its affirmative action programs or scholarships, -although most other private colleges in the state, and certainly all the state’s private law schools, have done so. “For us it is a question’ of adherence to mission,” said Charles Cotrell, St. Mary’s president for academic affairs. “St. Mary’s was an integrated school when that meant something in the ’40s and ’50s. It’s always had a very significant Hispanic population. Only in the past decade or so has it become a majority-minority school.” Today, the total minority popula h eund ergraduate ‘6,ve At Mary’s is’approximately 70 percent, Cotrell has been on the St. Mary’s facility since the ’60s, and says that, high minority numbers are a result of both the school’s location in South Texas, “and a commitment to educate all the peoples of South Texas.” In that historical mission St. Mary’s seems to find a defense against any lawsuit that would arise out of its interpretation of the “Morales Doctrine.” And as the undergraduate school is predominately made up of minority students, it is in the law school that affirmative action now makes a difference, both in diversity said the laW’School, with a Int nority enrollment of 40 percent, has always been dedicated to the recruitment of minority, and’in, parti ular, Hispanic stu, dents: And the law school will continue to consider ` `all the relevant aspects of applicants’ backgrounds: their community service, their aptitude on various academic indicators, their class, their gender and race, and so on,” Cotrell said. “We’re not trying to invite lawsuits. Nor are we trying to suggest that debate over Hopwood is moot. But we were historically going in a certain direction, and we would like to continue to go in that direction.” arose of Storic rriv Catholic university direction the adh e rence -to , .. 6 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 16, 1998