Regents to consider college admission changes

Monday, November 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TONKAWA, Okla. (AP) -- The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will consider a policy change that would strengthen admission requirements. At the same time it would make it easierfor the students to gain admission to the colleges they want to attend. The regents are expected to vote Friday on the policy change.

The state regents began tightening up admission standards in the early 1990s. Some have said the standards are too rigid and narrow. The state regents are proposing that seniors with a 3.0 grade point average in the 15 courses required for college admission into OU and OSU be permitted to enter regardless of class rank, overall GPA or standardized test score. Students with a 2.7 GPA would be allowed to enroll in the other 11 universities. Advanced placement courses would be weighted in computing core GPAs.

Oklahoma State University, which has wanted admission policies to give more weight to overall high school performance than to standardized test scores, said an additional 125 seniors would have qualified for admission to OSU or the University of Oklahoma this year under the proposed policy. The change would encourage high school students to choose academically challenging courses over easier ones that might improve GPAs.

Now, high school seniors generally have to meet one of two criteria to be admitted: an ACT or SAT score in the upper one-third for OU and OSU and the upper one-half for the other public schools, or an overall unweighted GPA of 3.0 and a class rank in the upper one-third for OU and OSU or upper one-half for the other universities. The regents' staff says the proposed changes should aid students with strong academic programs.

At Jenks, for example, the cutoff for the top one-third of the class last year was 3.39. That meant a student with a B-plus average could not be admitted to OU or OSU. The change may also be a way of getting more students into the higher education system. Regents have said they want to increase by about half the rate at which the system is producing graduates.

The regents have said they want to increase the number of two-year college graduates over the next decade by 70,000 more than projected by current rates, and 94,000 more bachelor's. But enrollment since the early 1990s has been relatively stagnant.