Archive for Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kansas Board of Regents approves tougher admission standards for public universities

December 15, 2010, 4:46 p.m. Updated December 15, 2010, 5:55 p.m.


Richard Bors, a Kansas University student from Chicago, works on a final exam in Wescoe Hall. The Kansas Board of Regents recently approved a tuition increase for all six public universities in Kansas.

Richard Bors, a Kansas University student from Chicago, works on a final exam in Wescoe Hall. The Kansas Board of Regents recently approved a tuition increase for all six public universities in Kansas.

— The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday gave unanimous approval to tougher admission standards for public universities, including Kansas University.

The standards won't go into effect for four years, in an effort to give students entering high school next year time to adjust.

"The underlying piece of all this was to better prepare people for success, not to eliminate anyone," said Regent Chair Gary Sherrer, who headed a task force on the standards. "We want you to be successful, so prepare yourself accordingly," he said.

And, he noted, that any of the regents schools can ask the regents for tougher standards for their institution. "This is to raise the floor," he said.

Currently, to get into KU or any other regent university, a student must either complete a pre-college curriculum, get a 21 or higher on the ACT, or rank in the top third of their graduating high school class.

Under the change, completion of a pre-college curriculum or Kansas Scholars curriculum with at least a 2.0 grade-point average would be required and then either an ACT score of 21 or higher, combined SAT score of 980 or higher on math and critical reading, or rank in the top third in the graduating class.

The pre-college curriculum includes a higher math hurdle than before. It includes three years of math with the requirement that the student meet the ACT college readiness benchmark or take four years of math, including one year during the student's senior year.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the tougher math requirement "will be a major improvement." She said KU was considering tougher admission standards but then yielded to the regents' efforts.


Vinny1 4 years, 4 months ago

The requirements now a complete joke.

The new requirements are still a complete joke.

A 2.0 GPA. In high school. Seriously? You can get that just by showing up.

A 21 on the ACT? That is not hard to all. Really...anything less than that and you probably shouldn't even be going to a four-year college.

Shardwurm 4 years, 4 months ago

You realize that people pay to go to school right? This isn't free unless you're poor, a minority, or a genius.

Higher admission standards are simply a means to justify increasing tuition. It's a racket.

Goodbye education for avearage middle-class Americans. It's already out-of-sight crazy expensive, ladening our youth (and us parents) with mortgage-level debt for degrees that will never pay for themselves.

Education needs reform worse than healthcare. This needs to stop.

gccs14r 4 years, 4 months ago

If you can fog a mirror you can meet the new requirements. How about requiring a 3.25 and a 28?

Shannon Draper 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually, you cannot get a 2.0 by showing up. I teach at LHS and a butt in a seat does not guarantee a passing grade.

But you're right about the ACT: many many many students are wandering into college classrooms because this district lacks any real vocational training programs. These kids feel their only options for meaningful employment post-high school will require a four year degree in large part because they haven't been offered any other alternative.

Vinny1 4 years, 4 months ago

And so many more kids should be going to vocational schools. Learning trades they are interested in. But they can't because they are not offered. Because of lack of funding from the government to support these kind of skill learning classes. Its sad.

newmedia 4 years, 4 months ago

A "butt in a seat". Now I call that a real professional response. Guess we know what this educator thinks of his/her students.

Shannon Draper 4 years, 4 months ago

Vinny1: Agreed.

newmedia: How dare you assume to know what I think of my students? I work 60 hour weeks, I'm in my building from 7-5 most days, I run an extracurricular program, I counsel students outside of school, I work with youth across the city during the summer in various programs and, for many of the kids I teach, I am the most consistent adult influence in their life. A responsibility I take very seriously, by the way, and I consider it a privilege.

My reference to a "butt in a seat" was culled from numerous conversations with other educators regarding the general apathy of our students and the ill-informed population of this city that views education as a glorified babysitter. If you, and others like you, believe all it takes for a student to earn a passing grade in an average high school classroom is to show up, sit down, and be in the room, then I challenge you all to come to my classroom next semester and do nothing for 18 weeks. That's not passing, that's being present, and attendance does not yield passing grades any more than merely showing up for your job and then refusing to do anything required of you by your job description would yield you a paycheck.

I am a teacher. I will be a teacher even if they cut my salary, make me teach more kids in less time, and deride my profession because at the end of the day, I believe in the power of education to change the life of a child.

What do you do every single day that contributes to the world at large?

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

JCCC. They can even get there by bus. They offer all sorts of vocational programs, and most only take two years. Have they not been told this?

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

They may not be high standards, but they are standards, and kids who can't make them shouldn't be going to college straight from high school.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

I think that there should be a place for higher education for every high school graduate who wants to study. But that doesn't mean that every high school graduate should be able to go to any institution he/she chooses. Trade schools may be the best choice for some. For those who want to test their abilities in academic courses, community colleges are the best choice for students who struggled in high school. Those students who have proven their academic abilities, whether in high school or in community colleges, should then be eligible for admission to four-year institutions. But even then, they shouldn't be guaranteed admission to any institution they choose. Of course, it's important to keep the cost of higher education affordable, even for those individuals coming from modest economic backgrounds and non-traditional students who are self-supporting. I am very disquieted by the incoming state budget director's idea that college is for the affluent, and it should become more expensive. If we want to maximize students' opportunities to learn, we can't set the tuition bar too high.

getreal 4 years, 4 months ago

We decrease funding for K-12, increase our class sizes, eliminate counselors, courses, etc. and then we tell schools please do more with less. Yet, Brownback has added a government position in the office of the REPEALER, because they need MORE people to do LESS for Kansans. Koch Industries tells us that we must now be rich to send our kids to college. Anyone who was looking to locate a company here with high paying jobs has just been given the green light to look elsewhere! The votes of November 2010 are going to come home to roost sooner than we think.

VTHawk 4 years, 4 months ago

This is certainly overdue. To many kids wind up at KU/KSU/WSU and the other regents schools that have no business being in college. While a college degree is a good thing to have, students going into debt and coming out with no degree (like HALF of admits) or with a useless degree are actually at a substantial disadvantage. Hopefully KU can start inching its way to better rankings.

As an aside: just to show how low the admission standards were, I can already completed the minimum SAT score when I took the SAT in 7th grade! Students with a below-average SAT or ACT score have no business automatically being accepted to a first- or second-tier university. If certain students are later admitted based on other qualifications, that is another matter. Those that meet none of the three current requirements have no business in college at any level.

konzahawk 4 years, 4 months ago

I am VERY disappointed that KU did not take this opportunity to further distance itself from the other regent universities. What happened to the proposed standards that were recommended for KU? The recommendation was for at least a 3.0 GPA in a pre-college curriculum, at least a 25 on the ACT and an essay for scholarship purposes. These standards would have greatly increased KU's academic profile while increasing retention and graduation rates. Instead, we plummet further into mediocrity. It is disgusting that any idiot that can sign his or her name can get in to KU and then flunk out after one semester.

VTHawk 4 years, 4 months ago


I am equally disappointed. KU is doing no service to its reputation by taking on students with sub-par qualifications. Too many kids with no business in college show up to KU and ultimately fail. Those are the same students that (IMHO) are prone to get into trouble while on campus, thus further damaging KU's reputation.

Sigmund 4 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone considered that higher admission standards for KU mean lower enrollment and thus decreased budget for KU? Sure KU can raise tuition to minimize that loss, but a decrease in students and higher tuition means lower economic activity in Lawrence including lower retail sales and lower sales tax revenues?

VTHawk 4 years, 4 months ago

In the long term, though, Lawrence will benefit from an increased caliber of KU graduate. Tough admissions certainly haven't hurt Austin, TX.

Sigmund 4 years, 4 months ago

I've been to Austin Texas, Lawrence is no Austin Texas! But just to play along, exactly how would a smaller but smarter student body paying higher tuition's benefit Lawrence in the long or short run??? No credit unless you show your work.

Terry Jacobsen 4 years, 4 months ago

Funny an earlier post suggested that he/she could already meet the standards to be admitted to KU but the poster obviously doesn't know the correct use of to and too. It would be funny, if it weren't so sad.

Uncle_Salty 4 years, 4 months ago

Once again, public education bears the brunt, without benefit of funding or financial recompense from the Regent Universities, of EXCLUSIVELY preparing students for admission into the Regent Schools! Bear with me on this one, as most of you didn't have the four high school credits that the new "qualified admissions" will call for.

When Qualified Admissions first appeared on the stage in the late 90's, the 6 year graduation rate at universities in Kansas was in the 40% range (students graduating within 6 years of Freshman enrollment). Now, after nearly 15 years of this standard, admissions have gone up, but this same rate is in the mid 50%. This does NOT take into effect students that transfer FROM one university to another and graduate. Nor does it take into effect students that transfer from other schools and do graduate. Not sure that the Regents new standards can take credit for this, but let us assume that this is the cause.

But what, exactly, is the purpose of public school? To prepare students for admission into regent universities? Or is the task broader than this. Is it to give the students a cross curricular survey of education AND other educational options? Such as music, vocational classes, arts, and business classes? By adding the additional math credit, two things will certainly happen, and neither will benefit anybody: 1. Enrollment in any electives will go down by one credit. 2. Math classes will be dumbed down to stretch that fourth math credit into the curriculum.

Uncle_Salty 4 years, 4 months ago

Um... that would the four credits... OF MATH!

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

KU should petition to raise their standards even higher. Maybe a 2.5 in high school and a 23 on the ACT.

This would go a long way in reducing KU's 92% acceptance rate, which is ridiculously high.

Uncle_Salty 4 years, 4 months ago

But do you really think that a 92% acceptance rate is not the priority? They want to increase the standards of incoming students, have a high acceptance rate, AND not have them drop out/transfer to other schools!

Add all this to ever increasing tuition rates, and there you'll find the answer!

It's all about the money, baby!

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