Admissions and Standards Committee


Motion to Change the Method of Admitting Students

Here is the data upon which the recommendations below are based.


Background:

The BOR's 2001 Requirements

In June of 1995, the Board of Regents (BOR) adopted an Admissions Policy Direction. One of the aims of the Direction was to raise standards for admission to the institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG). Several changes were adopted: strengthening of college preparatory curriculum (CPC) requirements, raising SAT scores required for admission, and, most importantly, mandating a new measure and standards for admission. (These requirements, and therefore this document, are only concerned with undergraduate admission.)

Currently, GSU admission is based primarily on a student's predicted grade point average (PGA). The PGA formula is revised every year and is institution-specific. For 96-97, the PGA formula was:

PGA = (SATV * .0017) + (SATM * .0011) + (HSA * .7524) - 1.0375

("HSA" refers to the student's high school grade point average in academic courses.) In the summer of 2001, GSU will be required to use, as its primary admission criteria, the freshman index (FI). The FI will not be modified yearly and is consistent for all USG institutions. The FI formula is:

FI = SATV + SATM + (HSA * 500)

Regular admission to GSU will require an FI of 2500. Limited admission will require an FI of 2020 but only 7% of the university's new freshmen may be in the 2020-2500 range. For GSU, 7% of the new freshmen is about 140 students.

Currently, in addition to PGA, GSU considers SAT scores in making admissions decisions. To be admitted, an applicant must have an SATV of 330, an SATM of 310, and combined SAT of 660. For the summer of 2001, the BOR requires that we raise the SATV requirement to 430 and the SATM requirement to 400.

Meeting the BOR requirements without losing enrollment will take a significant improvement in the quality of students we enroll. We currently require a PGA of 1.8 for Learning Support Program (LSP) admission and a PGA of 2.1 for regular admission. The three factors (SATV, SATM, and HSA) are given different weights in the FI and PGA formulas. There is, therefore, no simple conversion from PGA to FI or from FI to PGA. One can, however, calculate an equivalency for any combination of SATV, SATM, and HSA. For example, one way to get an FI of 2500 is to have an SATV of 500, an SATM of 500, and an HSA=3.0. Such a student would have a PGA of 2.6.



The SACS Strategic Focus

As part of the SACS Self-Study process, GSU approved a Strategic Focus document, "Educational Access in a Changing Environment," (http://www.gsu.edu/wwwsac/strategic.htm) which outlined GSU's enrollment goals. These goals are:

GOAL 1: Meet enrollment forecasts projected to the Board of Regents simultaneous with compliance with mandated changes in admissions criteria.,

GOAL 2: Recruit and retain a student body whose academic achievements contribute to the strategic goals of academic excellence and distinctiveness.

GOAL 3: Maintain student body diversity.

As the Strategic Focus notes, reaching these goals will require work on the part of many different parties. One important part of meeting these goals is to change the way we admit students. In the past, we have admitted all students who meet minimum standards of admission. These standards are set by the Senate. This is a poor way to manage enrollment. First, it means that you will admit more students close to the minimum than students well above the minimum. Second, one does not know in advance how many students one will have on campus. Third, the process of changing Senate-specified minima is slow. It cannot react to quickly changing enrollment circumstances (for example, a different pattern of admissions at another university). The motions below will help us, in the words of the Strategic Focus,

--recruit students in a more systematic and strategic manner,

--determine how to monitor the impact of environmental changes on enrollments and

thus to adjust recruitment and curricula accordingly,

--anticipate curricular and facilities needs on both the downtown and satellite campus(es) to accommodate enrollments,

--monitor campus decisions in relation to P-16 accomplishments,

--look more carefully at questions of student diversity, including the identification of recruitment strategies that produce a diverse student body, and

--examine the impact of new residence halls on student composition and consequent

curricular needs.


Motion:

Part 1: Form an Enrollment Management Committee

Section 1.1

A subcommittee of Admissions and Standards, the Enrollment Management Committee (EMC), will be formed.

Section 1.2

The EMC will:

1) set targets for new University undergraduate enrollment for each term--targets for overall new undergraduate enrollment, including targets for new freshman enrollment, new transfer student enrollment, new international students, new Program for Excellence students, and all other undergraduate entrance categories.

2) monitor progress towards meeting the BOR's 2001 Requirements.

3) monitor progress towards meeting the goals set out in the SACS Strategic Focus.

4) monitor enrollment trends in general.

5) make recommendations to various University units (for example, Senate Committees and administrative units) concerning the matters listed in 2, 3, and 4.

Section 1.3

The EMC will be composed of the Provost, the Associate Provost for Academic Programs, the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services & Registrar, two representatives of the Deans (selected by the Council of Deans), the chair of the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards, a representative from the Senate Committee on Diversity, and three faculty members from the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards.

Section 1.4

The EMC will set the University enrollment targets at least a year in advance. It will review them after each term and as necessary. (The EMC will set the targets for Fall of 98 as soon as possible.)

Rationale for Part 1:

1) In the past, the University did not manage enrollment as well as it could. The principle problem was that there were no enrollment targets. Instead, the University Senate set minimum requirements for admission and the Admissions Office admitted all students who met those requirements. The University was always reacting to student demand as it appeared instead of choosing those students who would best serve the interests and capacities of GSU. By setting enrollment targets in advance, GSU will be able to plan more effectively because we will have a much better idea of the number and characteristics of students who will arrive in a particular term. The move from admitting all students who meet certain minima to using enrollment targets is a reflection of the greater prestige of GSU. In the past, we needed every student we could get. Now there are more students who wish to come to GSU than we can serve. Thus we are in a position to choose the students we want. Most research universities use enrollment targets to manage enrollment.

2) Here is the rationale for the composition of the EMC. The Provost is on the committee because, as the Vice President for Academic Affairs, s/he must be integrally involved in the setting of enrollment targets. The Associate Provost for Academic Programs is on the committee because enrollment targets have implications for academic programs. The Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services & Registrar represents the administrative units who will implement the policies to meet the targets. The two Deans' representatives give the Deans input into the setting of University enrollment targets. The chair of Ad & St chairs the committee of which the EMC will be a subcommittee so it is natural for her/him to serve. The member of the Senate Committee on Diversity is on the EMC because preserving diversity is one of the goals explicitly listed in the Strategic Focus. The three faculty members from Ad & St represent the faculty at large. Having them selected from the members of Ad & St indicates that they have the knowledge necessary to make well-informed decisions.



Part 2: Raise Undergraduate Admission Standards & Modify Their Use

Section 2.1

GSU will no longer automatically admit all applicants who meet the Senate-specified minimum admission requirements set out in this motion. The Enrollment Management Committee (EMC) will set enrollment targets and the Senate will set admissions minima. The Admissions Office will hit the EMC-specified targets by admitting and enrolling the most qualified of the students who meet the Senate-specified minima.

Section 2.2

Each of the students at or near the minima will be admitted on the grounds that they bring something unique to the GSU community, for example, first-generation background, demonstrated leadership, presence of and responses to life challenges, honors and awards, outstanding co-curricular accomplishments, volunteer and community service. Achievements will be considered in the context of the opportunities the applicant has had, any hardships or unusual circumstances the applicant has faced, and the ways in which the applicant has responded to these challenges. We will meet our enrollment targets while enrolling only a few students at or near the minima.

Section 2.3

We will raise the PGA/FI required for undergraduate admission to GSU in four steps of 0.2 as follows:

Quarter Minimum

admission

PGA

Fall 97 1.8
Fall 98 2.0
Fall 99 2.2
Fall 00 2.4
Fall 01 2.6

Table 1


We will convert to admitting on the FI instead of the PGA as soon as the necessary computer program changes can be made.



Section 2.4

We will raise the SAT scores required for undergraduate admission to GSU as follows:

Quarter SATV SATM
Fall 98 350 320
Fall 99 380 350
Fall 00 400 370
Fall 01 430 400

Table 2




Section 2.5

We will raise the Learning Support Programs (LSP) placement criteria as follows:

Quarter Minimum

admission

PGA*

LSP

admission

PGA

Regular

admission

PGA

Fall 97 1.8 1.8 & <2.1 2.1
Fall 98 2.0 2.0 & <2.2 2.2
Fall 99 2.2 2.2 & <2.3 2.3
Fall 00 2.4 ** 2.4
Fall 01 2.6 ** 2.6

Table 3


*This column merely reproduces the information from Table 1.

**In these years, all LSP admissions will be limited admissions.

We will not change the LSP SAT placement criteria.

We will convert to calculating LSP admission on the FI instead of the PGA as soon as the necessary computer program changes can be made.



Rationale for Part 2:

1) In the tables above, the numbers for 2001 represent the PGA/FI and SAT requirements that the BOR requires us to meet in that year. While the steps toward reaching the minima set out for 2001 are under GSU's control, the 2001 minima are not. The gradual pattern of increase set out above is designed to smooth the path to these higher standards and minimize sudden changes in enrollment.

2) The LSP placement range is currently .3 (2.1 less 1.8 is .3). The range will be dropped by .1 each year until it reaches 0. The LSP SAT placement criteria are set by the BOR. Currently, they are SATV 430, SATM 400. That is, students with an SATV less than 430 or an SATM less than 400 are placed into LSP. Note that the LSP SAT placement criteria match the SAT minima admission in the fall of 2001. (See Table 2.) The SAT and PGA LSP placement criteria result in a gradual drop in LSP students until very few of them are admitted. (In 2001 and afterwards, the only way to be admitted as an LSP student will be by special exception.)

3) A Note on Diversity

We must work to preserve the diversity of the GSU student body as we raise standards. The data indicate that increasing standards does not have as much impact on diversity as some have thought. If the standards proposed here for the year 2001 had been in place in the Fall of '97, 23.9% of the new freshman would have been black. Under the current standards, 33.66% of the new freshmen enrolled in Fall '97 were black. Thus black enrollment (as measured as a percentage of the new freshman class) would fall by about 10%. However, without any special effort to recruit blacks, 23.9% of the new freshman is still a very significant percentage of that class. Other minority groups either do not appear to be much affected by the new requirements or are present at GSU in such small numbers that data on the effect of the new standards on them is not reliable. All this being said, we need to undertake special efforts to retain a diverse student body. The Senate Committee on Diversity has agreed to work with the Admissions Office on minority recruitment in an effort patterned on the successful program that the Honors Program and the Admissions Office have developed.


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Revised 1/28/98