University of Oklahoma looks to replace current admission system

Proposed changes to the University of Oklahoma's admissions policy could allow the university to admit certain students who might have been rejected under the current system.
by Silas Allen Published: April 6, 2012

Proposed changes to the University of Oklahoma's admissions policy could allow the university to admit certain students who might have been rejected under the current system.

OU officials hope to see the university adopt a holistic admissions system. Under that system, the university would consider a range of criteria officials say would give them a better idea of applicants' chances for success.

The OU Board of Regents approved the new approach at a meeting last week. The proposal will go before the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education for consideration later this month. If approved, it would take effect in fall 2013.

Under the university's current policy, applicants are given automatic admission if they meet requirements in high school GPA and class rank, and score at least a 24 on the ACT or a 1,090 on the SAT. Students who don't meet those requirements may be offered a place on the university's wait list.

During the meeting, OU President David Boren said that policy leaves out applicants who could be successful while admitting others who ultimately wash out.

Work ethic, potential

For example, if an applicant scores well on the ACT but has a poor work ethic, that student wouldn't be likely to succeed in college, Boren said.

Meanwhile, another student who barely missed the requirements could have academic potential, but still would be rejected under the current system.

Under the new policy, the university would still consider college entrance exam scores, but only as a part of a larger package of criteria. If an applicant fails to meet entrance exam requirements, Boren said, he or she could still make up ground in other areas.

“It won't be a mechanical requirement,” he said. “You shouldn't feel like you shouldn't even apply to OU.”

Matt Hamilton, OU's registrar and vice president for enrollment and student financial services, said the plan is part of an effort to make sure the university recruits the students who are most likely to graduate.

OU has posted strong graduation numbers in recent years. Earlier this year, the university announced the six-year graduation rate for the 2005 freshman class was 67.8 percent — the highest in state history for a public university. The graduation rate has increased more than 20 percent since 1990.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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