The University of Texas might fancy itself a progressive establishment, but their admission requirements remain a bit antiquated.

Maureen Sullivan reports at Forbes:

University Of Texas Investigation Exposes Admissions Secrets

On a tour last summer of the University of Texas at Austin campus, no one mentioned to my teenagers that it would be easier for them to get admitted if a well-connected Texan made a phone call or wrote a letter of recommendation to the university president. It’s certainly not in the literature and not on

“Relationships matter.” That’s the finding of Kroll Associates, an investigative firm brought in last August to delve into the admissions process after a member of the university’s Board of Regents raised concerns about favoritism and set off a political storm. The 104-page report found that those relationships “can often provide particular applicants a slight boost in the highly competitive environment of university admissions.”

This study, which also explores admissions at the law and business schools, lands just as high school seniors around the country are anxiously awaiting those acceptances and dreading the denials. Former admissions officers sometimes write behind-the-scenes looks into the business, but it’s rare to have a top university lay bare the inner-workings of that department. The report, released this month, details the “hold” and “watch list” system that let UT President Bill Powers and the deans get a final say before a “no” letter went out. The report finds that applicants with personal or political connections might get a “second look” after a rejection or “special consideration outside of normal admission channels.”