Tim Caboni
Office of Public Affairs

KU proposes admission standards that encourage student achievement

Wed, 05/16/2012

LAWRENCE – At the request of the Kansas Board of Regents, the University of Kansas is proposing new admission standards designed to encourage student achievement and increase the number of students who go on to graduate from KU.

The proposal is subject to approval by the Regents and will be discussed at the board’s May 16 meeting. 

“As part of our mission of educating leaders, we need to give students and families an accurate picture of what it takes to succeed at KU.  The proposed admission standards encourage students to strive for excellence in high school so they’ll be ready to do well when they arrive at the university,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

Under the proposal, to be admitted to KU automatically, new freshmen would need to take the Kansas Qualified Admissions Precollege Curriculum, graduate from a high school or home school, and meet one of two GPA/ACT thresholds. The first would require a minimum 3.0 high school GPA combined with a 24 on the ACT (1090 SAT), while the second would require a minimum 3.25 high school GPA and a 21 on the ACT (980 SAT).

Students who do not meet the automatic admission criteria would have their applications reviewed by a committee. In making its decision on whether to admit a student, the committee would consider such factors as strength of high school coursework, grade trend, academic potential, diversity, family circumstances and the student’s ability to benefit from support services available at the university.

“These standards let students know what it takes to succeed at a research university, which will reduce the initial challenges some of them experience. They also give families extra reason to encourage students to work hard throughout high school so they’ll be ready for college. And for those students who need additional assistance, this process will enable us to direct the right services to them after they arrive at KU,” said Gray-Little.

Under Kansas law, there is a four-year waiting period for new standards to be implemented in order to give students currently in high school time to prepare. If the Regents approve the standards in the 2012-13 academic year they will go into effect with the fall 2016 entering class. 

Currently, all Regents universities in Kansas have the same admission requirements. Students are admitted if they score a 21 on the ACT (980 SAT) or rank in the top one-third of their class, or have a 2.0 GPA in the Kansas Qualified Admissions Precollege Curriculum.

Chancellor Gray-Little and other university leaders met with more than 200 stakeholders while developing the proposal, including students, families, alumni and K-12 school officials. The vast majority expressed support for the change and the importance of standards that not only set out clear goals for students, but also reflect the differences among the missions of Kansas’ universities.

See the full proposals for new freshmen and transfer students.

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