The proposed admissions policy came as a result of an analysis OU officials conducted of freshman groups, Hamilton said. In that analysis, university officials noticed that students who barely qualified for automatic admission tended to drop out of school at a higher rate than those who didn't qualify for automatic admission, but were admitted anyway.
The difference, Hamilton said, is how the university treated the two groups of students.
When OU accepted students who didn't qualify for automatic admission, part of the admissions agreement required those students to participate in targeted services, such as extra advising.
But when students barely qualified for automatic admission — meaning they performed only slightly better than those who didn't qualify — the university didn't offer them a similar agreement.
OU versus Texas
Under the new plan, admissions criteria would include high school course rigor and applicants' responses on essay questions. Unlike the embattled holistic admissions model used by Texas universities, Hamilton said, OU's admissions system wouldn't consider applicants' race and ethnic background.
The policy of using race as a factor in university admissions has been called into question in recent weeks when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of Fisher v. Texas. In that case, Abigail Fisher, a white college student, brought suit against the state of Texas, saying she was unfairly denied admission to the University of Texas because the school considers race
Even if the new policy is approved, the university will continue to offer automatic admittance to Oklahoma students who qualify under the current policy, Hamilton said.
But, he said, the new system could allow OU to tap into a pool of students it isn't currently able to reach.
“We want them at OU,” he said. “We believe they can be successful.”