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Kansas Regents Approve Tougher University Admissions

TOPEKA, Kan. – Students who want to attend public universities in Kansas will have to start studying a little harder.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved tougher admission standards, particularly in math and critical reading. The requirements take effect in four years at higher education institutions, but will affect high school freshmen next fall.

The new standards will require high school graduates to complete the state’s new, tougher college curriculum with at least a 2.0 grade point average. They also must either be in the top third of their class or have a minimum 21 ACT score or 980 SAT.

Currently, high school graduates must reach only one of three thresholds: complete the pre-college curriculum, or get the same ACT or SAT scores, or rank in the top third of their class.

“The underlying piece of all this was to better prepare people for success, not to eliminate anyone,” said Regent Chair Gary Sherrer, who led a task force on the standards. “We want you to be successful, so prepare yourself accordingly.”

The pre-college curriculum includes three years of math with the requirement that the student must meet the ACT college readiness benchmark or take four years of math, including one during the student’s senior year.

“This is a welcomed change,” said University of Kansas Provost Jeff Vitter, who called the old standards “too lax.”

Vitter said national data from the College Board indicate that students who take a fourth year of high school math improve their chances of succeeding at college math from 15 percent to 50 percent.

The Admission Task Force also said universities can request permission to require even more rigorous standards.

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