Archive for Monday, November 8, 2010

Task force proposal would raise Kansas admissions standards for KU, public universities

November 8, 2010


— Students would face tougher admission standards to attend a public university in Kansas under a task force proposal.

“If students come better prepared, there is a better chance of success,” said Gary Sherrer, who is chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents and chairman of the task force on college admissions.

Sherrer said the task force recommendations will probably be presented to the regents in December.

The final report hasn’t been put together yet, but Sherrer said it will include a requirement that high school students take a pre-college curriculum set by the regents.

And, he said, the task force will recommend that students take a fourth year of math instead of backing off of math like many high school seniors do.

Currently, all Kansas high school graduates can attend a state university if they meet one of three requirements:

• Score a 21 or better on the ACT.

• Rank in the top third of their class.

• Complete a pre-college curriculum set by the regents with at least a 2.0 grade-point average.

Sherrer said the proposal that college-bound students be required to take the pre-college curriculum, and pass it with at least a 2.0, would apply for admission to all public universities and would be the minimum to get in.

“That gets you into the game,” he said.

If the changes are approved by the regents, they couldn’t take effect for four years to allow students to prepare, he said.

“It’s not to exclude anyone, but it’s how can we better prepare people to be successful,” Sherrer said.

Universities can propose even tougher standards to bring to the regents. Kansas University is working on this.

Part of the regents’ new long-range plan, called Foresight 2020, is to increase retention and graduation rates. Experts say making admission standards tighter accomplishes this task by ensuring students are achieving at a higher level when they enter college.


Shardwurm 7 years, 5 months ago

Just raise tuition and be done with it.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

It's not about tuition. It's about making sure the students who do attend are going to graduate.

sad_lawrencian 7 years, 5 months ago

I have a few ideas. Let's dump the ACT and adopt the SAT since the rest of the civilized world uses the SAT. Increase the GPA requirement to 3.0 and get rid of the senior-class ranking quota (some high schools have graduating classes of 15 people so ranking in the top third is meaningless). Let's make it a tiered system so only the "best and brightest" get into KU or KState (top tier), then the others get into Wichita or Emporia (second tier) and all the rest are left to contend with Fort Hays or Pittsburg (third tier) or even worse, the community colleges (bottom tier). Speaking of community colleges, let's strengthen transfer and articulation agreements so two-year-college students have an easier time moving on to four-year schools. Finally, let's increase state spending on higher education by about 40%. Let's invest the millions of $$ needed to repair the buildings across all six state universities (no more "deferred maintenance"). Let's get some top-flight faculty and grad students into the state, turn KU and KState into primarily research-focused schools, and do more to push the urban and coop-education offerings of Wichita and Emporia.

mdlund0 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh, man... you make me laugh. You're proposing things that would actually DO something. We all know that's not possible. What really needs to happen is that the admissions policy making decisions need to be taken out of the hands of politicians and put directly into the hands of university administrators.

Bud Stagg 7 years, 5 months ago

If KU actually recruited students then they could attract better ones. It pains me to say this but my daughter went to KSU because they acted like they wanted her to go to school there. They made her feel welcome. KU could have cared less.

LogicMan 7 years, 5 months ago

Interesting. What exactly did KSU do, and KU didn't do?

paq 7 years, 5 months ago

I completely agree with you. I have 2 kids who would have been 3rd generation jayhawks, both would have been out of state students. One was a national merit finalist. KU offered nothing. Then when he applied to grad school didn't even reply to him. I have also heard the same thing about K-State from my friends who had kids go there.

deec 7 years, 5 months ago

My daughter had the same experience. Ft. Hays offered her enough scholarships and financial aid to pay for everything and KU offered her about half what she would have needed. And she was valedictorian of Wyandotte that year.

kristyj 7 years, 5 months ago

I also completely agree since that's the reason I went to Nebraska over KU. NU laid down the red carpet, gave me a private tour & within the first twenty minutes outlined what scholarships I would be almost guaranteed to receive (and did). Compare that with KU's approach of a massive group tour, no individual attention or time to ask questions and the recruiting lines consisting of "student basketball tickets are awesome." Yeah, not impressed.

If KU is wanting to increase their admission requirements, they might want try some recruiting practices that actually appeal to higher-level students, especially students from Lawrence. Me and my $$$$$ went elsewhere.

Tom Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

This "new" bar is still set far too low. Back in the 60s, I was accepted at Stanford, Northwestern, Univerity of Michigan and UCLA. Today, with my qualifications from the 60s, it would be laughable to waste my money on application fees on at least 2 of those schools. If we are going to raise the standards for students, the standard should go up for instructors as well (via more professors and fewer grad students doing classroom teaching). Yes, that would raise tuition, but the product would be far more attractive.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you on more professors and fewer grad students, but that means there would be less research, since research and publishing is what gets the professors tenure.

Dan Thalmann 7 years, 5 months ago

All these new requirements will do are cut off a few borderline students to make KU's retention and graduation rates look better. Who is this good for? KU or the student. So the standards would knock out some kids who maybe would've ended up dropping out anyway, but what about the borderline kids who are late bloomers academically and would've thrived in college as long as they had the chance? I'm surprised the bleeding-heart Lawrence folks are taking such a elitist stance on this.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, no. Students who are borderline should be starting in a community college and transferring in. They're more likely to be successful in the long run, stay in school, not owe a ton of student debt, and go on to earn higher income and benefit the community.

lama 7 years, 5 months ago

"Universities can propose even tougher standards to bring to the regents. Kansas University is working on this."

Let KU and KSU set their own admission standards -- it's insane they can't do it now. Enacting real qualified admissions would save millions in costs spent on retention and remedial courses and improve rankings for both schools immediately.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm in favor of that, as long as they stop throwing a hissy fit over other colleges being in their "geographical service region."

Clara Westphal 7 years, 5 months ago

It doesn't say much for our high schools if KU can't stay with the "anyone who graduates from a Kansas High School is admitted".

I have seen letters from students seeking admission. They should go back and try high school again.

firebird27 7 years, 5 months ago

In Texas, if you want to attend the University of Texas or Texas A&M University, you must be in the upper 10% of your class. I am not suggesting the standard should be that high, but I do agree with the commentary that KU and KSU should have their own entrance standards. In California, the university category (UCLA, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UC-San Diego) has a higher entrance standard than the state university category (such as the California State Universities at Fresno, Chico, San Bernandino, etc.).

somedude20 7 years, 5 months ago

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Denny2009 7 years, 5 months ago

I guess I'm an exception, back in the day I wasn't a very good highschool student (Immature) and got very sub-par grades. Well, KU admitted me as an out-of-state student and I'm thankful they gave me a chance (one of the few big schools that did). I got done in 4 years, matured, and was prepared to enter the work force. I understand the admission standards might be low at KU, but I agree with giving people an opportunity to prove themselves. However I do remember my freshman year at KU it was estimated every 2 out of 10 freshman dropped or failed out but people need to realize all large Universities have these statistics.

james bush 7 years, 5 months ago

Back in the day: 50 years ago good high schools produced graduates who had reasonable communication skills and math skills. Better learn a skill in the trades because educated idiots need someone to build things for the ruling classes in socialism.

AnonymousBosch 7 years, 5 months ago

15 years ago the same thing was true. You know, right, that the decline in intellectual achievements is partially the fault of No Child Left Behind? And that educated people know what socialism is? Education doesn't make people idiots; it makes them far more likely to know what is in the Bible, Constitution, history books, economic history, etc., and thus better equipped to make decisions about our world, economy, rights, and so on (because they READ the relevant texts rather than just invoking terms or texts without any familiarity with what they actually MEAN).

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes. Socialism is no good at educating students. Just look at Finland. Oh...

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