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Volume 70, Issue 71, Friday, December 3, 2004


New standards for UH admissions?

Proposal suggests more stringent requirements for UH applicants

By Portia-Elaine Gant
Senior Staff Writer

Higher test scores could be needed to get into UH under proposed changes to the University's admissions policy.

The proposal is one of several recommendations from the Enrollment Management Task Force, which was created to help UH change its undergraduate admissions standards. Bauer College of Business Dean Arthur Warga, the chairman of the task force, said simplicity is essential in working out the new requirements.

The group's recommendation puts applicants into three groups: automatic admission, regular admission and individual review.

The state mandates that public universities admit students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. The task force recommended automatically admitting students in the top 20 percent of their classes, though they will still have to submit their Scholastic Aptitude Test or American College Test scores.

Under regular admission, students' test scores and grade-point averages are taken into account, but the minimum requirements would be raised under the task force's proposal.

The University now accepts SAT scores as low as 820 or ACT scores at low as 17 with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. If an applicants' GPA is between 2.5 and 3.5, an SAT score of 1,080 or an ACT score of 24 is required.

The proposed changes base test scores on where a high school graduate places in his or her class. For students who graduate in the top 30 to 50 percent of their classes, a 1,000 would be required on the SAT or a 21 on the ACT.

A 1,100 on the SAT or a 24 on the ACT would be required for students who graduate in the top 50 to 75 percent of their classes.

For students who don't fall under automatic or regular admission, including those who have taken the General Education Development test or were home schooled, the task force is encouraging holistic review.

Factors like socioeconomic background, whether a student is the first in his or her family to attend college, high school curriculum, family responsibilities and awards and activities would be considered for those students.

The task force also suggested those applicants submit supporting materials with their applications, like letters of recommendation or statements explaining special circumstances.

Proposed admissions revisions also include an appeals process for students who are denied admission to UH. Applicants who wanted to appeal would submit an appeal form, a personal statement and two letters of recommendation. The appeals would be reviewed by a provost-appointed faculty committee.

The Undergraduate Council and Faculty Senate are reviewing the proposals. If those groups approve them, interim Provost Jerald Strickland, President Jay Gogue and the UH System Board of Regents will review them next.

The task force will begin looking at requirements for transfer students when it reconvenes in the spring. 

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