Topeka — The Kansas Board of Regents today gave Kansas University permission to go ahead with the process of putting in place tougher admission standards.
"We have an aspiration to increase the graduation rate. We have an aspiration to increase the retention rate," said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
But Gray-Little said the school wasn't trying to discourage applicants to the school. "I want every student who can come to KU and have a good experience, to be at KU," she said.
The board voted 8-1 to approve KU's request. If new regulations supporting the request are approved by December, then KU will start using the new standards in August 2016.
Currently, admission criteria are the same for all six regents universities. A Kansas high school graduate can be admitted if he or she:
— Has an ACT score of at least 21 or SAT score of at least 980, or
— Ranks in the top one-third of the high school class, or
— Has a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in the Kansas Qualified Precollege Admissions curriculum.
Under the proposed standards, to be automatically admitted to KU, graduating high school students would have to complete the pre-college curriculum along with one of the following:
— A minimum 3.0 GPA and an ACT score of at least 24 or 1090 SAT, or
— A minimum 3.25 GPA and an ACT score of 21 or 980 SAT.
Students would also have to apply by Feb. 1 prior to their freshman year at KU to be considered for automatic application.
Students who don't meet the criteria will have their applications reviewed by a committee that will look at numerous considerations, including whether the applying student would be a first generation college student, or is the child or grandchild of KU graduates, and has the potential to succeed academically.