Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Regents want KU to raise admission standards

December 14, 2011


— 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.


yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

"“A more comprehensive admissions policy would enhance KU’s reputation, and reputation is important in maintaining this critically important membership,” said Kansas Board of Regent member Fred Logan Jr."

Hear hear.

"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.”"

It's about time the Regents start thinking this way and allow KU to be the true flagship university in the state with more rigorous admissions standards and reputation.

I hope it is not too little, too late, because KU is at the bottom of AAU institutions, and many institutions better than KU are currently not in the AAU.

hbjayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Raise the standards! So tired of hearing the argument that we are going to lose students of color and historically advantaged backgrounds at KU. The fact is that in order for KU to be the best, we must RECRUIT the best to our campus. We need admissions recruiters to pound high schools out of state and in state and market the University well. We need to offer tuition discounts to high performing students and provide retention incentives to those making progress toward degree. KU should incentivize degree completion and create opportunities for a Grad in 4 program for advanced (non-remedial) students. Strengthen the transfer pipeline too, there is gold at the community colleges waiting to be discovered. Sadly, KU personnel are not skilled or strategic enough to implement a plan to increase student success. They outsource to a 3rd party software company to lead the retention effort (at a cost to us KS taxpayers!). Their admissions staff are expert juice and donut providers. Their financial aid staff are great and remain visible in our communities. I am sure some faculty committee of liberals will get together and say that achievement gap at KU will widen with raising admissions and nothing will happen.

Dolph Simons, your take?

Joan Kelly 6 years, 1 month ago

Give tuition waivers for KU employees' dependents! With over 2000 faculty members you would see a rise in intelligent and motivated students who's parents obviously want to see them succeed. In addition you would be able to recruit better faculty members which will help KU's reputation.

Do it!

Hong_Kong_Phooey 6 years, 1 month ago

That's funny, I always thought that people should have access to higher education. If they can't hack it, they will not continue on at KU (unless there's a problem with instructors providing realistic grades?). . . but, at the very least, they should have the opportunity.

Ryan Gerstner 6 years, 1 month ago

They will have access to higher education; just not at KU. If you can't meet the standards, they can go to one of the state's 19 junior colleges and earn their way in. There's no free lunches. You don't get to go screw around for 4 years or h.s. and go to school anywhere you want. By having miniscule standards, KU has lost out on many of the best and brightest to other states and schools that have admission standards. KU's ranking has steadily dropped the past 20 years devaluing the degree of every KU graduate. It's long overdue to make some positive changes to elevate KU's academic standing. It's sad it took Nebraska losing their AAU status and KU potentially being on the chopping block to get the Kansas BOR to finally wake up.

Kyle Rohde 6 years, 1 month ago

+1 to this entire post. Absolutely right on all accounts; there's no reason KU should have the same standards as ESU, WSU, PSU and FHSU.

guesswho 6 years, 1 month ago

KU wastes a lot of resources on students who are not prepared academically. These resources includes advisers, classroom space, instructors, admissions reps, counselors, etc. Raising standards will not deny people access to higher education. If there is any doubt, they can start off at a junior college or other college and then transfer their credits to KU.

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

They crowd the intro classes and make it harder for other students to enroll. They default on their loans and take grant money that could have been used by successful students. They end up not going back to a different school since FAFSA money requires satisfactory academic progress, and that means they'll earn less money for the rest of their life. We do them and ourselves as taxpayers no favors by admitting students who aren't ready for KU and aren't prepared to succeed there.

Ryan Gerstner 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, great news! Welcome to the 21st Century, Kansas Board of Regents! I guess better late than never, but how incompetent of a board do you have to have to be close to the last state in the country to increase admissions standards?

Well, it'll be interesting to see what KU's Admissions standards change to. I really don't expect them to change all that much, but a little incremental change would be good to see how it goes. Kudos to Fred Logan and Ed McKechnie for finally seeing the light!

lama 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a great development for KU -- they need to make it happen ASAP. KU should be at least as selective as neighboring AAU schools.

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

KU should be more selective, and they won't be excluding anyone if they're willing to allow transfers from other Regents schools.

Rockledge 6 years, 1 month ago

2.0 GPA is ridiculously too low. 2010 median of freshman GPA was already 3.57. The 25th percentile was already 3.17. Increasing the minimum incoming GPA to 3.0 would cut the bottom 15% who are mostly not qualified based on the minimum 21 ACT score anyway. See The problem is, assuming no tuition increase, in the short run, KU will loose the tuition money from these 15% before hopefully gain it back from higher enrollment from the better high school students in the future.

KU_cynic 6 years, 1 month ago

If this results in the absence of poorly prepared students who are wasting their time and ours (the faculty), that would be good for everybody.

...everybody but perhaps the developers who have overbuilt multi-family rental housing in the town on the mistaken assumption that KU can only get bigger.

KU_cynic 6 years, 1 month ago

I know it's a sensitive subject, but here goes:

How would tightened enrollment standards at KU affect athletic recruiting for football and basketball (men's and women's), where GPAs and ACTs for many "star" players can often be dismally low?

Erin England 6 years, 1 month ago

The college sports world is, unfortunately, corrupt. KU tightening their admission standards, I'm sure, will not affect recruiting. If KU wants a player, they will do whatever they can to "help" them in.

kuguardgrl13 6 years, 1 month ago

The question is, are they only raising the standards for Kansas students, or will the out-of-state standards also be raised? Out-of-state standards are currently a 24 on the ACT/1090 on SAT, top third of class, or 2.5 GPA. If KU raises their out-of-state standards too high, students will choose to stay in their home states or go elsewhere. What makes KU great for those of us from other states is the value of tuition compared to other states, even our own. KU is only about 25% higher than my home state, and my tuition here doesn't go up yearly. What I want to know is whether K-State will keep their standards the same as us, or if they will stay with PSU and the others.

goodcountrypeople 6 years, 1 month ago

Haha! The anti-intellectual atmosphere at KU is just not cut out do deal with bright, accomplished students. I had stellar admission credentials but got completely trashed and abused in Lawrence for reasons completely unrelated to academics. The administration here is just completely backwoods, unsophisticated, vindictive, unprofessional, and far less than reasonable, caring, and ethical. The whole KU culture is geared to nothing but turning out working-class drones.

stevieboy 6 years, 1 month ago

2.0 ? Isn't that like a D average ? An incoming student shpuld at teh least have a C average...

KU_cynic 6 years, 1 month ago

No, a 2.0 is a C average.

Now, how does one get a C average? Cs in everything? Mostly Cs and then every B matched by D or every A matched by an F?

2.0 is basically a "Can you fog a mirror?" GPA for students coming out of high school.

rubberband 6 years, 1 month ago

Not saying this is a bad idea, but gee, I wonder what would happen to KU's adademic ranking if they actually focused a little attention on TEACHING? Sports, research, sports, research, sports, research. Quality teachers is the farthest thing from their priority list.

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