WKU to raise admission standards
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Western Kentucky University, which provides higher education for more graduates of Logan County and Russellville high schools that any other single institution, is raising its admission standards, making it more difficult for students with average to low performances in the classroom and on standardized tests to get into the Bowling Green-based college.
President Gary Ransdell announced the newly approved "WKU Guide for 2010-12" to faculty and staff on Feb. 1. He said the plan deals with the "economic realities facing the Commonwealth" in the 2010-12 biennium... "in a most uncertain environment." He said when this biennium ends, the university will reassess the situation, based on the economy then.
The plan covers a number of areas, including the following statement about admissions standards:

"The Campus’ desire to improve quality and prioritize spending, however, forces the raising of the minimum criteria required for admission. Beginning with the adoption of this plan, the University will set the baseline for those not eligible for admission at a high school GPA below 2.0 and an ACT comprehensive score below 16, the minimum ACT score will then increase each year for the next five years. Therefore, a high school student seeking enrollment to WKU must have a high school GPA of 2.0 or above and an ACT comprehensive score of 16 in 2010; 17 in 2011; 18 in 2012; 19 in 2013; and, 20 in 2014 and thereafter. This will allow the University to focus most of its resources on its core student population which meets the University’s admissions standards. The Office of Admissions will track the annual financial and demographic impact of these new minimum standards. The University will assess said impact during the 2011-12 academic year. Any exceptions to these minimum standards must be approved in writing by the Academic Advising and Retention Center, the Provost, and the President."

Ransdell said, "The new admission standards are in effect immediately and will be followed as we shape the class of students who enroll this coming fall semester."

Raising standards will also affect the remedial courses the university is now having to offer, the Guide says.
"If quality and degree completion are the drivers, then WKU should place emphasis on students who are prepared and capable of succeeding in higher education. A priority for academic quality going forward will, therefore, be to continue to work with the public school community to assist in the improvement of college preparedness among high school students. WKU will also begin to reduce its investment in remediation and developmental education. This will be managed through a gradual increase through the aforementioned admission standards and a concerted effort to enhance student preparedness at the secondary level. The goal is to devote campus resources to the extent possible to students who are both willing and capable of succeeding in a rigorous university environment."

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