Topeka State higher education officials on Wednesday called on Kansas University to change its student admission standards so it can improve its national academic rankings and maintain membership in the Association of American Universities.
“A more comprehensive admissions policy would enhance KU’s reputation, and reputation is important in maintaining this critically important membership,” said Kansas Board of Regents member Fred Logan Jr.
On Logan’s motion, the board directed KU to come back in the spring with a proposed admissions policy focused on improving retention and graduation rates and keeping more academically talented students in the state.
Logan said a new policy “need not be about restricting access to KU; it should be viewed as an opportunity to give students, teachers and parents a clear picture about what is expected to succeed at KU.” The board has the authority to approve changes in admission standards.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the university has been studying possible changes in admissions standards. She said the goal is to better identify students who can be successful and enhance opportunities for success.
Currently, the admission standards for KU and the other five public universities are the same. Generally, students must meet one of the following requirements: ACT score of 21 or higher or an SAT score of 980 or higher, or rank in the top third of high school class, or have a 2.0 grade point average or higher on a 4.0 scale in the Kansas Qualified Admissions curriculum.
Board Chairman Ed McKechnie said, “I’ve come to realize that the most important thing is for a kid to have access to a regents university as opposed to all universities.”
The regents also invited the other schools to work on possible admissions changes if they wanted.