A little advice for KUBy MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
A+ to raising freshman admission standards for the University of Kansas.
Now, how about eliminating the edge given children and grandchildren of alumni?
Whos your daddy? shouldnt be a privilege at a public institution seeking to serve a range of students.
The Kansas Board of Regents wouldnt dare ax that sacred cow, or rather hawk.
Potential baby Jayhawkers who fall shy of meeting the new higher standards will still have lineage as leverage.
But the alumni advantage will make even less sense in the future. KU is wisely attempting to elevate itself to a higher national ranking by improving retention and graduation rates. And bloodline has nothing to do with the ability to succeed academically.
By 2016, a 2.0 GPA or a 21 on an ACT will no longer make the cut.
A 2.5 will be required in precollege curriculum, along with a 3.0 overall GPA and an ACT of at least 24 or SAT of 1090. Or, a 3.25 GPA and an ACT of 21 or SAT of 980.
In addition to alumni status, other more significant factors will continue to be weighed when a student is close to meeting the requirements: if they participated in high school sports, extracurricular activities and community service or had extenuating circumstances in their family life.
The benefits of having a college-educated parent should be obvious. Such fortunate children are raised with an expectation that they will also enter college. They benefit from parents who are higher wage earners and are able to engage their children about their own college experiences.
By the time these lucky students enter college, they have accumulated a lifetime of privilege, just by luck of the draw at birth.
Good for them. The nation needs more multi-generational, college-educated families.
There are plenty of other college choices in Kansas for students whose aptitude or prior academic record places them below the raised standards.
Children who gather only a 2.0 in high school are generally not prepared for college. Admitting them is often setting them up for failure, wasting hard-earned tuition. The worst scenario is if a student drops out and never re-enrolls.
Better to attend freshman year at a less academically stringent college, possibly transferring later.
But the alumni policy wont be touched anytime soon. Doing so would jeopardize alumni donations and goodwill.
Even the high standards are a gamble for the institution. If graduation rates dont improve after the changes kick in, there will be no blaming the students.
That outcome will point the finger right back at KU and how it educates. Time will tell.
Until then: Go Jayhawks!