AKRON, Ohio – Students who want to attend the University of Akron can no longer count on an automatic entry into the college, due to a change in the admittance policy.
“Before, it was really anybody that applied was admitted. They choose whether to come to the University of Akron,” UA Provost Mike Sherman said.
For the first time, the university has turned away some students and referred them to community colleges for remedial education.
Sherman said about 120 students, so far, have been affected by the policy change, which UA officials believe will enhance the university, make it more accountable and send a signal to parents and students about preparedness for higher education.
“We know that raising expectations basically produces better outcomes,” Sherman said.
To that end, students who score less than a 17 on the ACT test will most likely be referred to community colleges where they would take refresher courses for one or two years. If they pass the courses, the students could transfer to the University of Akron.
“They’ll be able to complete the appropriate type of remedial work that they need at a lower cost to really transition into a baccalaureate program and be very successful,” Sherman explained.
Wade Edwards, 18, a freshman at UA, who scored an 18 on his ACT, believes the change is a good idea.
“If you’re coming out of high school and you’re not already mentally prepared for the University of Akron, you shouldn’t be allowed to come in. Because what if you just come in and you just fail out?” Edwards said.
Morgan Ashcroft, a 17-year-old from Erie, Pennsylvania, visited the UA campus on Thursday with her parents. She’s considering about “a half dozen” colleges, including UA’s honors college.
Ashcroft, who hasn’t taken the ACT yet, but scored an 1800 on the SAT, believes the new policy will make a difference for students.
“It’ll change the academic atmosphere more than I think it’ll actually change the college,” she said. Her father, Paul, agreed and said tighter standards makes the University of Akron more appealing to parents.
“We know that the courses that she’ll be taught will be higher caliber courses,” said Paul Ashcroft. “We’re not worried about the grades getting watered down or grade inflation.”
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