Hi 81 / Lo 73
|Volume 70, Issue 71,
Friday, December 3, 2004
Proposed admissions standards a step up
The University doesn't have a reputation for selectivity. In fact, the main reason UH ever came into being was to provide open doors to people who might not normally make it into a university.
So naturally, any discussion toward becoming more selective can make some people anxious. Many people think that selectivity harms diversity, which has long been UH's strong suit.
As it is, UH is not a first-choice university, meaning most students apply to a few other schools before considering UH. If administrators keep pushing for higher standards, this trend will change, leading to numerous trickle-down benefits, like improving graduation and retention rates. This is the sort of thing that UH leaders talk about when they say they want the University to be a flagship institution. It means being a world-class university that students choose to attend, not settle for and hope for a transfer.
Changes being considered would be to allow automatic admission to any student who graduates in the top 20 percent of their class, doubling the state's automatic admission requirement, and matching SAT score requirements to where a student graduated in his class. The lower the rank, the higher the score needed to be admitted.
Also under the changes, students who receive their GED or are home schooled will be subject to a holistic review, with their socioeconomic background, awards, activities and curriculum being considered. These students will also be reviewed to determine if they are first-generation college students -- another kind of student UH is good at attracting.
The proposed changes are a good thing; UH could do worse than to get a little more selective. The changes are small, and critics still don't have much to worry about in the way of negative affects of selectivity. We're a long way off from being as picky as the University of Texas or Texas A&M University.
UH just needs to keep to heart its founding mission and to seek a higher level without sacrificing what makes us strong.
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