Regents OK Louisiana’s Minimum Admissions Requirements
BATON ROUGE, La. The first statewide plan to set minimum admissions requirements for students entering Louisiana’s four-year state colleges won final approval last month from the Board of Regents. To be accepted to a four-year college, high school graduates would have to pass the same college preparatory curriculum required for TOPS, the state’s major scholarship program (see Black Issues, March 29). In addition, a student would have to meet either a specified grade average, a set score on the ACT college readiness test or “an appropriate rank” in their high school graduating class. “This is not a plan designed to lock students out of the system,” says Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie. “Instead, a concerted effort is being made to set clear expectations early on and to ensure students have the resources to meet their full potential.” The minimum college admission standards, which go into effect in the fall of 2005, are different for each type of college. Universities would have a 15 percent exception to those standards to attract students based on race and students “of institutional interest,” such as athletes. LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert and Louisiana Association of Business and Industry president Dan Juneau have criticized the minimum admissions standards as being too low. Emmert says students should be required to make a certain grade average and a certain ACT score — not one or the other. Savoie says the plan does not establish admissions criteria for each campus. It is up to the schools to develop their own that are either on par with or tougher than the minimum, he says. Community and technical colleges will retain an open admissions policy and are expected to see an increase in enrollment. “If the master plan is to work, community colleges must be expanded into areas of the state now underserved,” Savoie says. “They will be the first point of access for many students who do not meet admissions standards or who might prefer to obtain associate degrees.”
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