Higher admission standards wise for state schools

KU officials are considering asking the Board of Regents to raise the bar on entering freshmen. They point out that about 20 percent of first-year students drop out; most because they can’t hack it.
Entrance requirements should be expanded beyond the courses taken and passed in high school to ensure that entering students can use resources, establish goals for themselves and find mentors to help them succeed, they argue.
Tougher standards would benefit students, their families, the university faculty and the freshmen students who come prepared for college level work.
The current admission standards established in 1996 (due in part to the assiduous work done by Rep. Denise Apt of Iola) was a huge step forward at the time. Prior to that all graduates of a Kansas high school were qualified by their diploma to enter any Regents university. Freshmen drop-out rates were 25 percent and higher then.
Today’s first year dropout rate demonstrates it is time for another step up.
It is obviously beneficial to a student to be prepared to succeed. Failure can have a traumatic effect on a young man or woman that can last for years. Having students in a class unable to keep up slows the teaching pro-cess for all of the students and puts an extra burden on teachers who may try to do remedial work while teaching the rest of the class at a different level. And drop-outs waste money and time.
The University of Kansas and the other state universities should persist in establishing realistic admission standards created with a higher level of student success as their goal.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.